Ketchup Packet

I sat and stared at those french fries

Tearing my straw wrapper into small pieces



To understand how you think

You can love me

But tell me shit like

"I don’t believe you should be able to get married"


"I don’t believe you should be able to adopt kids"


I didn’t think you would break my heart

I’m your kid-that’s my job, right?

You taught me compassion

and love

and the importance of self-analysis

and love of my Self


You are so solid

You are unbreakable and you taught me to

Proudly face the world

As I am

And I realized

While staring at ketchup packets-

you are probably ashamed of me


I’m still reeling from 

Basic human rights


While you finished the french fries

And shrugged your shoulders

Cleared your throat and drank your Diet Coke


You told dad

That you wish you had “caught it earlier

So that we could have gotten her help”


I sit there and play with my food

Wanting to pick up the tray

And hide behind it

or overturn it and scream

"This is bullshit"

I stare at the exit, at our car in the parking lot

and I wonder what you would do if i grabbed your keys

and didn’t stop driving

until I’d reached home

in California


You used the word “You”

Not “gay people”

so this isn’t business-it’s personal.


A personal attack

in a fucking Wendy’s


So deeply personal

Because your people

who used to be my people

are attacking my people

are attacking me


Through their smug smiles

Convinced god has set them apart

Set them



I would never say I’m a Christian

It’s kind of hard to identify with a faith

That sees you as demonic

Upending the family

And God

By existing


I’m just a kid


I am a woman

Sitting in Wendy’s

with too  many words

logical arguments

and valid views

That would never measure up 

To your faith, and divine knowledge 

That I am fundamentally wrong


I am yours

and you are mine

and I deserve better than this.


I stare at the pieces of my white straw wrapper

I wonder what my wedding will look like

If I’ll have to cut you out of my children’s lives

You know me, mom

I am so much like you-

and I would never

let someone tell my children

there was something wrong with their family

my family.

Would never let them be around someone

who pursed her lips

slammed doors when I held my wife’s hand


I don’t negotiate

Neither do you.

And I hope I don’t have to leave you

Sitting alone in some proverbial Wendy’s

To hold onto myself.



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