He wasn’t even 19…by Tammy Brewer

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He was 15. The boy who shot another
boy for being gay. He could’ve been tall

or short. Or fat. Either boy, really. But
the boy who was gay wore makeup

to school sometimes. That was freaking
the guys out, said a 13-year-old

in the news. With each shot,
whatever happens in the classroom

stays in the classroom. We are taught
to sit behind desks. Preferably in equal

rows. So that standing on the other side
is like looking through the barrel

of a shotgun. How it must feel to come out
at age 14. Like a clay pigeon waiting

to be thrown into sky. Without wings,
they say a gay student is 5 times more likely

to be bullied. It is something we will look at,
said an official. Like trying to fix a broken

speedometer cable. And the car is going
way too fast. When you live in Georgia

it’s easy to say whatever happens in California,
stays in California. It is the wild west, after all

to be young and gay. To say look at this
picture when I was 19. Asleep

on a train. Trees and graffiti rushing by —
Wake up, girl. Wake up.

2 Responses to “He wasn’t even 19…by Tammy Brewer”

  1. Tammy F. Brewer (formerly Trendle) lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband, the poet Robert Lee Brewer, 2 sons and a dog. Her poems have been published online and in print in such journals as: The Pedestal, Words Dance, The Denver Syntax, storySouth, MiPOesias (Best of Cafe Cafe Edition), Broadsided, Concelebratory Shoehorn Review, Zygote In My Coffee, among others. She loves Romero zombie films and Star Trek. She can be reached at tammyfbrewer@gmail.com

  2. Father Luke Says:

    I’ve known Tammy for a long time, and she has
    always been her own kind of poet.

    Her vision is unique, and it travels well from her heart, through
    her fingers, onto the page and then into your heart.

    – –
    Okay,
    Father Luke

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