The silence before a victory in equality parallels the silence after:
it is alighted by those who barter their carved flesh for candle wax,
Set afire for an enduring thread.
A strand that interweaves the disgraces of the
Past, of the Present, and confronts the Future with a bold decree:
Freedom is as boundless
As the sky that all men live and die under;
Equality as fair as Milk, a name apt for the man whose
Deviance and Sin lay not in hate, but in the love he felt for another man.
As nameless others, he carried a whistle on the San Franciscan streets:
His attempt against the lash of the “Normal” Majority, his shield against
The beatings of strangers, of mothers and brothers, of friends and fathers,
Its sound, his ailment against the poisoned fruit of those who were
Taught to hate dissimilarity at birth and to embrace the semblance
Of faces made identical through hypocrisy.
Unlike nameless others, he used his voice to clean the smears
Left by the Anita Bryants against Prop 6.
So that “All men are created equal”
Could be absorbed by homosexual men and women,
Some whose days were blotched by suicide instead.
His death – like those of Martin Luther King and Emily Wilding Davidson –
Was traded for a fiber, a single fiber
That allowed for another stitch...
It will allow for another in the name of a statue that
Heads, “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to break free.”