Wednesday, August 17th, 2011...3:40 pm

jay sosnicki | safe

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SAFE

1990
On Venice boardwalk
We’re walking together
We’re together
But always that safe distance
In public places
Two rock ‘n roll longhairs
Not ashamed
But not quite ready to be fully
Out
In Public

Two women walk by
Thick Germanic accents
Slim/boyish both
Wild, kinky hair
Talking loudly
And their hands up the back of
Each
Other’s
Shirts
Oblivious to open-mouthed stares
Of passerby

We stop
And have the same idea
Why not us
In 1990?

We start walking
Hand in hand
Terrified
Laughing uncomfortably
And feeling free somehow
Taking in the stares
Feeling the pressure
Wanting
NOT
To be taking this
So public stance
All the fears
And the shames
And the quiet years of hiding
Rushing to the
Fore

2 blocks and we’re still holding hands
The disgusted looks from many
The obvious
Turning of heads
By others
Because they don’t want
To be seen
Staring
Silently stunned
By the irony
Of catcalls and epithets
Of blacks and Mexicans
(And you’re half-Mexican, my love)

We finally both let go
Keep walking
Relieved
To not have to fully
Own
This burden

It was 1990
It wasn’t quite
Safe
Yet

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