Do You See Me?, Hannah Elizabeth High




You think there isn’t a sign on my ribs that says “stonewall inn”?

You think Matthew Shepard doesn’t tug at my hair and warn me

          as I walk the streets of my city?

You think I don’t choke on the smoke

          from the hellfire you spit from your pulpits

          with sparks that sear and heat branding irons

          which scar your names on me to mark me as danger?

You think my veins don’t shiver

          when they think

          of the devastation

          wracking the cities

          that some called deliverance

          while Reagan fiddled

          as we burned

You think that the prisons

          pink triangles



          bullets spitting into a nightclub

          don’t whisper in my head as I make my way through the world?

You think that I don’t notice

          I kiss her

          and kiss her

                      —the headline blowing by with a death toll

          and I kiss her

          the skyline splashing out behind us

          the lights on the Washington avenue bridge flicker on

          and I kiss her

                    Putin criminalizes us, across the world

          I kiss her

                    Vigils held too late for young suicides

                    Corrupting, perverted, disgusting, an affront to family values—

          I kiss her

          in the rain and the sleet of Minnesota

          I kiss her, our lips tasting of chants from the protest that shut down I-94

          handed down from our grandmothers

          hearts beating, eyes sparkling, alive

          I kiss her

You think I forget the lists and the candles and the deaths and the pain and

          all that roars in my ears is a chorus

          screaming over and over again

          you were not able to kill us

 I kiss her

          and all is still




About the Author

Eve Taft · Augsburg University

“Queer” first appeared in Murphy Square


About the Artist

Hannah Elizabeth High · Reading Area Community College

Do You See Me? first appeared in Legacy.

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