by Mateo Lara
for my Queer community
stoke disgrace out of a smoke-filled room
say this boy is a husk of a boy, not a boy
is jewel is juniper berry is crushed into wet.
listen, they describe the room: a no-nothing pulsing with division
there is you & there is us
hunters & monsters
lingering, promising these empty fields will emerge with bloom.
come along into ramshackle house filled with spiders
dividing with wings and webs
stroking sharp knife across a tear-streaked cheek, glinting
they break the boy down
fracture his ribs
another ‘not a boy’ for sacrifice
they say the violence will make sense in the future
but the boy who is not a boy is
not white not yet not ripe.
there is only tension flame between
a crack in the surface made way for a broken promise
a relapse a tremor in an aching throat.
back to University & College Poetry Prizes