Poem for the Day: September 15th, 2021

Someone Somewhere is Googling “Stonewall,” Inauguration Day 2013 by Stephen S. Mills

A screen is filling with black and white images:
police officers, drag queens, and a few actual
stone walls. There are links to history pages,
organizations that have taken the name,
and the website for the bar where it all began.
A bar that now makes its money off of tourists
paying homage to the riots, raising a gin
and tonic to a movement that’s still not over,
but has changed direction. Today, people talk
of marriage. Of becoming like everyone else.
It’s cold outside and inside our Harlem
apartment. A place that knows something
about fighting, about surviving, about deciding
how to be equal. Here on this day our computer
screen is filled with a president taking a second
term. A president we’ve fought to keep.
A president willing to acknowledge our fight.
We’ve learned to adapt, you and I. To find
our own meaning. Our own way into love,
sex, happiness. In the coming years, we’ll make
choices, and yes, one day, we’ll probably be
legally tied to each other. Protected under
the law. Written down in the history books.
Two men. Two names. Two bodies.
But that act, no matter how simple or elegant,
will never capture our lives, or our history,
or our desire to be undefined.

© 2013 Stephen S. Mills. Someone Somewhere is Googling “Stonewall,” Inauguration Day 2013 first appeared in the Summer 2013 issue of Referential Magazine. Stephen S. Mills is the author of He Do the Gay Man in Different Voices, which won the 2012 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry; A History of the Unmarried, which in 2015 was named to the American Library Association’s Over the Rainbow List; and Not Everything Thrown Starts a Revolution, which in 2019 was named to the American Library Association’s Over the Rainbow List. You can read more about Stephen and his work at his website.

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