Jay.
He was a nineteen year old high school dropout.
He was black.
He wore his hair in dreads.
He had a few nose rings.
He wore gold chains and expensive clothes.
He went partying every night.
He got drunk on alcohol but his drug addiction was the biggest problem.
He had a lot of friends.
Because he was ‘cool’.
He was the ‘man’.

Gray.
He was 18, finishing his final school year.
He was white.
He wore his hair very short.
He had large round glasses, sitting lopsided on his nose.
He wore a long sleeved shirt and trousers.
He studied hard, and he got good marks.
He played the cello in the school band.
But he was gay.
And so he didn’t have any friends.
But he had his family who he loved dear and who loved him back.
He was happy.

The differences between the two are unbelievable.
They are nothing alike; they are complete opposites.
Yet, they are human.
They walk the same streets, at different times.
They both live on the same planet, if not the same world.
They both have a right to live.
They both have people who love them, despite all they are.

It’s their differences that make Jay and Gray human.
Both of them.
Until Jay raised his gun and fired three times at Gray.
That’s when Gray was lost to humanity.
And Jay had lost his humanity.

Coz Jay shot in the chest a boy named Gray
Killed him without giving him any say,
The boy who did no wrong, but was gay,
With his life, he had to pay.
His family cried in despair and dismay,
For their loving son had been taken away,
And now they all sat in silence,
For Gray would never see another day.

For souls who have had their lives ripped apart, and those who rip their lives apart, we pray.
People say I will go to hell
For touching him and loving her
But If hell is filled with what society deems sinners
Baby call me the devil
I Just Wanted A Husband & A Nice House With Kids & A Cat.
All I See Heartache Debt & A Destitute Shack With A Rat.

But I Swear I Won't Care,
About Fair If You're There.
A Pair In The Sun Won't Shy From The Glare,
Stars In The Night All The Light That We Share.

Made Houses In Our Minds,
Filled With Warmth From Our Hearts.
Made Love Right In A Field,
We Were Watched By The Stars.

Pennies Never Rubbed, Just One Pot To Piss In, Just One Blanket We're In, Heated With Our Kissing,
Nothing Could Be Missing.

We May Never Have Anything,
But With You I'll Have Everything,
With Fire Fly Filled Evenings,
We Are Fire Fuelled Beings.

With Desire Edged Nights
& Passion Born Fights,
We Tire In The Others Embrace,
A Line Of Kisses On The Others Face.
Harry Roberts - Pennies Never Rubbed © 17/07/18
Today someone asked
‘Did she love you’.
Because my love for her was stolen
A brush of hands, of fingers tangled together but always in the dark
A press of lips to her collarbones, her cheeks, her neck but never her lips
It was bruised shoulders and bruised egos,
Lost declarations and lost promises.
It was the words I whispered in her ear while my hands danced across her ribs
Or the words requested in the deep of the night when sleep was to far and nightmares not far enough.
It was second glances and curious friends
And stretches of silence and hushed arguments in the vacant corners of rooms.
She stole my “I love you"s and stitched them into her skin like armor.
And then she wore her armor to kiss other girls in the dark and to press promises into their skin,
To hold them the way I held her,
To love them the way I thought I’d loved her.
I thought I could protect myself from the pain,
But when I looked, I’d found that I’d given all my armor away.
Today someone asked
‘Did she love you’
2.23.2016
I memorized the way you spoke my name.
the way your lips curved around the vowels,
like the soft kisses you used to brush on the tops of my cheeks;
even the harsh consonants
rounded out to soft sounds.
soft lips, soft hands, soft sighs.
you said my name like a prayer, reverent,
as if holding a communion with God
and only He knew the right dips and sighs in pronunciation
yet He decided to share them with you.
there was teasing and jokes and nicknames,
but alone you whispered my name.
it had power. it had grace. it had meaning.
you were the only one who truly knew it.
sometimes i wonder, if when what we had died
my name died on your lips.
4.27.2016
I wonder if I think of us in religious images
because I blame your God
(my God, our God, whose God)
for keeping us apart before we could begin.
I couldn’t find places of worship in your skin,
I couldn’t find them in the hard chapel pews.
They might be in the book you love,
That I struggle to make sense of
Because the words on the pages don’t match
The words in the sermon.
Between peace and impasse,
I’d pick the former if only it meant
Understanding where things went wrong.
Maybe loving you was sacrilegious.
Maybe the assurance that I was “good enough” That I was “worthy of love and loving”
Shouldn’t have made you bathe in holy water
And reread passages of your book
Looking for the answer to your prayers.
I couldn’t save you from self imposed damnation.
Your parents, your church, your faith.
I was never your salvation nor you mine.
But maybe I’ll pray for us,
Who we could have been and who we were
And hope that God still hears my prayers.
4.27.2016
Kissing girls is for white girls
with slim hips and delicate features
whose reputation cannot be varnished
by a few quick pecks in the dark.

She said: loving women is for white girls
because they all grow out of it
except the foolish ones with troubled families
and fathers that never stuck around.

But my skin was too dark
and my family image too well crafted
to justify wanting to mess around
with girls that would leave me for future husbands.
It used to be fun, loving on the sly.
An exciting time, but I don’t know why.
What was so thrilling about it all then?
Nothing to be proud of. Not very zen.
Sneaking and giggling like a fool
Only proves to me now I was a tool.
But for those of me raised in that time
Being gay and horny was a big crime.

Even now, many say they don’t mind it
But if I have to be gay, I must be quiet.
Don’t talk about my time with a guy.
If I have to do that, do it on the sly.
They invent unclever euphemisms
And further deepen the sexual schism
That says we are good and you’re not
At least according to the family I’ve got.

They’ll just wink and dig with an elbow
And that’s they way they want it to go.
Of course, even better, just don’t say
That you I am one of those, you know, gay?
We’ll all know stuff, we don’t want to know.
We won’t discuss your twisted shame, oh no.
We'll just gossip with each other about it
And none of us in any way will ever doubt it.

After all, the bible I didn’t read condemns it
So, even though more of society permits it
It really isn’t right, they condemn me to hell.
Oh, I have heard this lame tale that they tell.
Of course, I read that book and they’re wrong.
They changed the story as time went along.
But they’d know all that if they took a look
And actually read their religion’s book.

So, decades ago, I changed my thoughts
And now use on them what they have taught.
I nudge and wink and agree not to discuss
The crap they do and their errors about us.
I don’t ask them with who they are cheating
Or other Christian teaching they are defeating
By paying attention to the mote in my eye
By my love for a perfectly respectable guy.
It happened in a hurry
At a joyous wedding party.
I didn’t know who he was
Just that he was hearty
And tall and very hot.
I was jealous of her
And the hot man she’d got.

The bride was not a friend,
But the friend of a friend.
I was the plus one that day
And I thought that was the end.
I’d watch the ceremony and
I’d go and smile and mingle.
It always makes me antsy
To do weddings when I’m single.

But, I sit and chat and smile
Wish them both the very best.
I do this quietly and quickly
Not being close like the rest.
So, when I went to the restroom
And the groom grabbed me
And laid a deep long kiss
I returned the favor gladly.

I usually don’t screw with married
But this was a great big surprise
To get kissed by a tall hunk
With hot burning lust in his eyes.
I have no idea what was up
With the bride's new Mister
But I can testify for absolute sure
He was one hella righteous kisser!
Mack 5d
Love leaves a mark,
Not just the small marks of love down my body,
But a mark within everything for which I am a part.
Whether she stays with me until I leave this place,
Or departs from me before I transcend,
I will always find parts of her in life’s every surrounding- every small trend.

When the rain sets in, I am reminded of her love in the Spring.
Nights spent talking over every little memory and every upcoming thing.
Fixing our hearts in our chests,
While letting luck and the unknown figure out the rest.
As the world warms around me, as the grass turns to green,
I am reminded of the desperation for her love, the only thing I’ve known to need.
I will always be reminded of the soft songs she shared,
Their melodies always find a way back into my head- and I’ll keep them there,
Because when I think of them I am reminded of her.
And once I think of her, I am reminded of the sound of her heartbeat as I lay on her chest,
While we hold each other again and remember what it’s like to invest,
In another soul so deeply and so willingly.
By the new growth of spring, I am reminded of the rebirth of a love I cannot forget.
If again I am in her absence,
I know I’ll be hollowed by a lack of passion.
For only this love has ever shown it to my heart.

For when the days grow longer and the nights get warmer, I’ll always be reminded of her love in the Summer.
When I see fireflies in the summer air,
I am reminded of soft kisses in the summer night and the smell of her hair.
I am reminded of the words we exchanged over cups of coffee,
The way we led ourselves to be happy.
When the sun sets,
I am reminded of the life she breathed into me under the covers of our beds.
I am reminded of the touch of her skin,
And of the feeling of being so in love with another, I cannot find the words on my tongue to even begin,
To explain to her the burn I have within,
To see her smile because of me,
To give her every chance I can to be happy.

And once the leaves turn to orange, I am reminded of her love in the Fall.
The first time she kissed me those years ago,
And the way we held each other close,
As the nights got shorter and the wind got colder.
I was still whispering her name and wishing for no other.
No matter where I may be,
Her name will come off my tongue and echo up and down within me.
Like the fog on the quiet autumn nights,
It rolls across me gently and I will not resist it, I will not fight.
If she looks the other way, I’ll still remember the touch of her fingers,
Locked perfectly between mine- A feeling that always crept warmth up my body and softly lingered.
I’ll always remember the way she’d make me smile,
On the nights where I otherwise may have found myself walking alone in my head for miles.
I will remember the “I love you’s” in dark parking lots and during walks under the colored trees.
I will always remember the way she cried into me,
Or the way I would look at her across the room.
She will always be a magical wonder to me.

When the world turns white, I am reminded of her love in the Winter.
As the world seems to die around me, my love for her does not.
As the air chills over, a fire in my heart for her with my every thought.
I think of the movie nights with bodies curled into one another,
Or the quiet songs I’d write in secret about her.
I am reminded of the days spent with each other in brutal weather,
And of her smile the first time we put up Christmas lights together.
I am reminded of first conversations over cups of hot chocolate,
And of the feeling of her hands in my pockets.

Love leaves a mark,
In every season and on every surface of my heart.
Everything I do reminds me of this love,
Every sound I hear and sense thereof.
I find parts of her in everything surrounding,
Every small thought and every lovely thing.
Whether she stays with me until the end of my song,
Or strays from me before I am gone,
I will find a piece of her in every moment.
For the only girl I'll really ever love.
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