When they spray-painted "FAGGOT" on the side of my house

I love my mother

I love her warmth

I love her wit

I love her fearlessness and admire her endurance

I love the way she loves strangers

I love the way she loves me

 

In adolescence,

I learned how to love her despite

Instead of because

Because I didn’t like the way she saw my love

I didn’t like the way she condemned my love

I love my mother

But I wasn’t free to love

Not in her home

 

So I left

I was barely eighteen

 

I am fortunate

I know I am

I am fortunate that my mother’s homophobia was the phase

Outlasted by my homosexual permanence

I am fortunate that I found affordable housing

Because there is only so much space on bus benches

For the queer kids to sleep

 

My escape from bigotry wasn’t even my coming of age trauma

Which opened my eyes to adulthood

Which exposed me to the world’s truths

I didn’t even escape

I became an adult

When they spray-painted “FAGGOT” on the side of my house

 

It was one of those things which force you to say it how it looked

Doing justice to the injustice

FAGGOT

Screaming, FAGGOT

Dripping, FAGGOT

Blue like a bruise, FAGGOT

Property damage, FAGGOT

The neighbors are looking, FAGGOT

Kids on their bikes are staring, FAGGOT

Traffic by the house is slowing, FAGGOT

 

I saw it when I got home from high school that day

As soon as I got out of my car

I got back in

I went to the department store

I bought some paint

I covered it, FAGGOT

 

I learned all I needed about being an adult

When another adult

Spray- painted “FAGGOT” on my house

This poem is about: 
Me
My family
My community
My country
Our world

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