Identity Storm

Dawson Holder, Sophomore, Interdisciplinary Inquiry: Entertainment Law and Entrepreneurship, Flower Mound, Texas

My bed is not the same.
My body feels disgusting
as I lie here in this rain.
My mother thought I
should be ashamed
about my own identity.
She can’t see that her hatred
drowns out the essence of me
and replaces it with someone
who I am afraid to be
any longer.
But, Mom, I’m finally
like the storm.


Oh. The storm.


I focus on the lightning, how
the thunder does not conform
to any of my expectations
that swarm, warm
under the covers
but a multitude of sins
welling up inside as I recall the yelling,
the ecstasy that happened
on, in, between


these sheets without my heart even swelling
to experience love.
Love compelling me to lust,
to do something absolutely insane.
It’s as if my brain
hasn’t connected to my heart,
so I don’t abstain
when I know that I should if I want to attain
this ideal of heteronormative pairing.
How beautiful I will finally feel if I can just stop sharing little pieces
of me without anyone caring if those little pieces
are shared with anyone else, so they can begin comparing
me to their faggot
little friend
who is nothing like me.
But, of course, being gay
is the only piece that matters to them,
so I have to continually portray
this perfect picture
of what they expect me to be:
I must be risqué!
I must flick my wrists,
dance around,
and say “Heyyyyyyy”
in the most effeminate way.
I must make it clear to other bros
that I am gay
cause if they are caught in the act of being kind to me,
they will be tried and convicted of foreplay.
I must be flirtatious to ev’ry man,
or else I haven’t upheld their
And, God forbid, their standard be expelled
lest the absurdity of that standard be spelled
out in bold for the world to see,
but their absurdity is currently withheld.


These tangled thoughts race through my mind in the seconds of the resonant hush
after the lightning struck the branches and the brush
right outside my window but before the thunder can respond with its lush


I blush.


My queerness is not dependent
upon what I have done or
will do in my childhood bed,
nor the beds in my future,
even when I am wed.
How I present myself in public?
You shouldn’t concern your pretty,
small-minded head
with that nonsense. I am what
I am, for my life source runs
and red
and red
and red
and red
and red
and red
and red
and red
and red.
Did my blushing not tell you that enough?

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