My mother tells me to be quiet.
Their home-brewed bigotry spills
over every edge of the bar--
every chair laced with straight, white, borrowed souls.
It spills and evaporates into the air--
unfresh, close, and thicker than before.
It sprouts decayed, bone-thin fingers that wrap around my throat.
My eyes water at the existence of it.
I go to gasp, to sing, to fill my lungs with anything else,
but she hushes me.
The rest of them-- they laugh and they sip.
It's bitter, it must be so bitter, but still, they sip.
Disgust lingering behind their teeth,
they've accepted that "this is just how things are."
This is just the way things have always been.
Unchanged, uneducated, unfit for survival,
they simply wait for whatever comes next, and they sip.
But here I sit, frantic, searching.
There is no way out. The clouds descend,
and I realize
I was raised until I raised myself.
My mother, she taught me kindness,
she taught me patience; how to take turns,
but she did not teach me how to breathe... in this.
taught me how to speak the oxygen of tolerance
in the presence of green, noxious bigotry.
chose to live beside the oppression of race, gender, and ****** preference.
do not blame these white, straight, borrowed souls
for fearing what they choose not to understand.
will no longer