My Lungs by Jay Hulme

I am not a silent poet

I do not have the space in my lungs
To combat these words you have said,
My lung tissue is probably dead
But I keep on breathing.

Shallowly.

My chest capacity
Is somehow smaller
Than the grave that’s
Already been dug for me,
This symmetry,
Between the giver of life
And my ending,
Is bending time
And leading me back

To where it all began.

I’d say I ran,
But lately
I’ve no capacity
For breathing heavily,
So honestly,
I just walked a little quickly
But he followed me,
And the words that rolled off his tongue
Were an opposing symphony,
An amalgam of “Lesbo!”
And “Gayboy!” and “Tranny!”
I think he was unsure
Of which type of bigotry
Would be fitting to shout at me,
So he just used a bit of L, G, B, and T
And hoped that it would offend me,
But seriously, mate,
I’ve…

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