25

Written by: Ira Dawson

25…
I am 25 years old
and the cutting glares,
the jagged judgment
from strangers on the street
still chink my armor
Exposing my blackened limbs,
splattered with the remnants 
of lies once lived

I am 25 years old 
and I’m still scared 
to hold my boyfriend’s
hand in public 
because people,
hateful people,
display their disgust,
their disapproval, 
their disappointment promptly 
on their brow. 
As if my life, 
my sexual orientation 
somehow affects them, 
infects them, 
injects my deadly 
sin in them. 

I am 25 years old
And yes, this is my boyfriend
And no, we don’t want to **** you
And yes, we’re second class citizens
And no, we didn’t cause 9/11
And yes, we are exclusive
And no, God doesn’t hate us
And yes, we want a family
And know, God doesn’t hate us. 

I am 25 years old