POETRY
Advice From an Old Bisexual on Inauguration 45
Daniel Crocker

Photo by Zack Marshall on Unsplash

Photo by Zack Marshall on Unsplash

When a group of young men
surround you outside of the bar
and it's late and you're alone
don't react when they call you
a faggot

There will be a time to be brave
This isn't it
This is the time to be safe
Get in your car and go

Cry or shake with rage
on the drive home
but do it alone
never in front of them

When a young man
kicks you in the head
for being a fag
make sure to have friends
with you

It helps if one of them
carries a knife

You're going to hear fag
a lot. Never get
used to it

Never question why

You know why
The president
knows why

and for once
I don't mean Reagan

I'd like to promise
we're going to be okay

but I lived through
the '80s and know better.


Daniel Crocker's work has appeared in The Los Angeles Review, Hobart, Big Muddy, New World Writing, Stirring, Juked, The Chiron Review, The Mas Tequila Review and over 100 others. His books include Like a Fish (full length) and The One Where I Ruin Your Childhood (e-chap with thousands of downloads) both from Sundress Publications. Green Bean Press published serveral of his books in the '90s and early 2000s. These include People Everyday and Other Poems, Long Live the 2 of Spades, the novel The Cornstalk Man and the short story collection Do Not Look Directly Into Me. He has also published several chapbooks through various presses. His newest full length collection of poetry, Shit House Rat, will be available from Spartan Press in September. He was the first winner of the Gerald Locklin Prize in poetry. He is the editor of The Cape Rock (Southeast Missouri State University) and the co-editor of Trailer Park Quarterly. He's also the host of the podcast, Sanesplaining, about poetry, mental illness and nerd stuff.