my pride

by Tommi Avicolli Mecca

© 2019

my pride is defiant and raw

it’s not polite

it isn’t marketable

it won’t show up

in the Dow Jones averages

it’s not running for office

or joining the police force

the military

the church

it won’t cooperate with the FBI

CIA or Homeland Security

it doesn’t put kids in cages

tear gas asylum seekers

or criminalize the homeless

it knows that changing laws

and electing politicians

isn’t enough

it’s not a ribbon

a flag

a beer

or a hashtag

it isn’t trending or being tweeted

it’s not a Russian bot

or a meme

it’s not going shopping

or something I ordered online

it doesn’t stay in an AIRbnb

or call a Lyft

it doesn’t have a buffed body

a designer wardrobe

or a supply of party drugs

it doesn’t let me forget

all the murdered gay men

and trans women of color

the years that gay sex

and drag were illegal

or how this nation stood by

and let my friends die

it understands that no matter how

much things seem to change

I’m still not safe

my pride

is ever on guard

and always in your face

to a fagbasher

by Tommi Avicolli Mecca

© 2018