Lodestar Quarterly

Lodestar Quarterly
Figure reaching for a star Issue 3 • Fall 2002 • Poetry

Mixed Emotions

Travis Montez

reduced to a sexuality
a preference
a passage from Leviticus
like my existence   begins and ends
with who is in my bed

forgive me
for i have sinned
with choir boys and preacher's sons
and teen-aged fathers
and felons
and professors
and revolutionaries
and poets
and porn directors
and porn stars
and married men
and go go boys

and i have loved not one single time

father    forgive me
for not being the son you wanted
and i will forgive you
for not being man enough to be my father

i will forgive myself...

....for being too small to stop him
....for letting him hit me
....for needing his attention
....for blaming myself
....for taking those pills
....for not eating
....for coughing up blood
....for wanting to die all those times

after asking around the office
he is certain that i am not attracted to him
and he can tell the other straight boys
in the mailroom
that i am cool to hang out with
because i won't try anything

his manhood is intact
he can grab his dick with pride
and know that i am not looking

i wonder if he will notice
that i no longer    speak his name

i am certain
we are not brothers

i will marry
in jamaica
on a beach
i will wear white linen that matches the sand
and no shoes
my best friend will sing Overjoyed by stevie wonder
and i will recite a poem

the man i love will speak
about the first time he saw me
the first time we met
the days he thought we wouldn't make it
and the moment he was certain that we would
he will tell the people       he loves me as he was meant to
and i will not cry
because i will believe him

no one will decapitate us for holding hands
or burn us for kissing in public
or bury us alive because i appear too feminine
though it is jamaica and that's what they do
to "chi chi man" and "batti boys" in jamaica

the day will be perfect
ignorance and murder
ignorance and fear
ignorance and bigotry
ignorance and self-hatred
will pause
just long enough for me to fall in love

Poet/activist Travis Montez is a third-year student at New York University School of Law where he is preparing for a career in juvenile justice and community organization. He has performed his work in venues all over the world, including the American embassies of Spain and Senegal. He's been featured in productions at Nuyorican Poet's Café, Brooklyn Café, New York University, and The Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church. Recently, Travis Montez lent his talent to the Words to Comfort benefit for the World Trade Center Relief Fund and is a regular feature in Emanuel Xavier's annual Glam Slam.

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