Body Count

Straight people can be so nosy sometimes

There’s always something y’all want to know about what I do in the bedroom.

But at the same time none of you really do

And honestly I don’t understand.

I don’t understand what is so important about my existence that makes you warrant such interest.

And when you see me as I am,

You can look, but do not touch

And when you hear me as I speak,

You can ask me a question,

But allow me to respond

And when you ask me about my body count,

do not be surprised when I have to ask you which one.

The number of people who died so I could be who I am

The number of people who sacrificed so I could love who I love

The number of people who stepped up when my family stepped back

Or do you just mean the number of people I’ve slept with?

You see straight people are always so

surprised when they ask me my body count.

Because they do not expect my response

Perhaps the number is higher than expected

Or perhaps they just weren’t expecting a number at all

because then it makes it real.

Numbers have a way of making things more inescapable.

And facts are a scary thing to the historically oppressive.

But what about the number of people I’ve slept with is so surprising?

Do I not fit in your porcelain music box?

Am I too gay

Or fat? Or alive?

I did not ask for any of these things you see

But I’ll be damned if I don’t embrace them.

I’ll be damned if I let you squeeze every lyric of my song into your sheet music

I am never to be played again

And the body count keeps rising

With every part of myself I killed to survive

And this time I will learn to stop the water

Building in the reservoirs of my tear ducts

Because the rainy season isn’t here yet.

Not yet.

And the world is a scary place already

So why not choose love?

Why not choose to love?

Why not live in this moment

Authentically you

Entirely you

And let every person you love

Let every person who’s life you made better today

Or who’s life you will make better tomorrow

Be the body count they will never forget.

This poem is about: 
Me

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