Thursday, May 19, 2011

Coming Out Party

I have been meaning
To do this
For a long time now
But I have postponed
And postponed
And procrastinated
For so long
That hiding
That wearing a mask
In public
At all times
To protect
My secret identity
Had become such
Second nature to me
That it has always
Been easier to keep on
Living the lie
And to go on
About my business
On the sly
On the down low
On the QT
Hiding the truth
From even my closest
Preferring the double life
Of living in the shadows
Even In broad daylight
Fearful that my
True nature
Might one day
Be accidentally exposed
By some fluke
Some thoughtless gesture
Some seemingly innocent
Slip of the tongue
Or some chance encounter
In a darkened bar
Or in some sleazy
Motel room
Out of fear
The fear that
Other people
Strangers and friends alike
Might pass judgment
On me
Or that perhaps my neighbors
Might begin to shun me
Not to mention people
Whom I have known
All of my life
Not to mention
Of my own family
My own flesh and blood
Who might misunderstand
And that somehow
I would be diminished
In their eyes
Or that my truth
Would become their shame
But the pressures
Of living with the lie
Of leading this double life
Has become unbearable
An intolerable burden
Whose sheer weight has been
Cutting into my shoulders
For far too long
It is time
Way past time
To finally
Put the burden down
It is time
Way past time
For me to finally
Straighten my back
My spine
To be able
To finally stand up
Tall and proud
To suck some air
Into my lungs
And to work up
The courage
The hope
The determination
And to summon
All of the self love
Self esteem
And support
That I can muster
To finally be able
To look the world
Squarely in the eye
And to be able
To proclaim
And without
That yes
I am
And have always been
For better
Or worse:

A poet

And all I ask
Of you now
Now that you finally
Know the truth
Is that people
Not rush to judgment
For I am not so very different
From yourselves
And we do have
Being human
In common
After all
Is said and done
But please feel free
To hate me
If you absolutely must
If you feel that
I have deliberately
Concealed my true self
For all these long years
To which I must plead
Guilty as charged
And if by some chance
My coming out of the closet
Has confused you
Or hurt you
In ways that only
You can explain
Please know that
It was not in my heart
To dissemble
Or to deceive
I was merely
Trying to survive
In a hostile world
That on the whole
Does not give a fig
For the good
The true
Or the beautiful

Can someone please say

Philadelphia, Pa. 2011

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