Straight, No Chaser

The day I came out to my mother

We hung up after a conversation

Where my leaden arms couldn’t find the strength

To pull the drain

Of the bathtub filling in my chest


Before I called her back

I searched the room for my bottle of Froot Loops flavored vodka

With hopes that the burn of keeping down

Straight-tasting childhood

Could finally emerge at the door of my young adulthood

Warm, smiling, and overconfident.


But I did 100 jumping jacks instead

Until my heartbeat was loud enough

To convince myself I could Morse Code my message

Over the telephone wires

Without having to speak.


They say our bodies play host

To a limited number of heartbeats

And I’ve spent most of my credits

In the seconds before

“I have something I want to tell you”


Coming out

May mean catching up

But starting over

Doesn’t mean

We’re running a different track

All it means

Is we’re finally ready

To begin catching our breath.


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