Welcome to the Modern Day Attic

US History. 
5th hour.

I sat in the farthest left row, 
four seats back. 
You sat one row to the right, 
three seats back. 

She lectured us about Hitler, 
about the Jews lack of rights, 
about concentration camps 
and Anne Frank. 
About how our country fought 
to preserve the lives of others 
whom they didn't know. 

And you,
a military man. 
Boy, I should say. 
Destined to go into the 
any branch of the military that would accept you. 
You defied what your ancestors sacrificed 
when you whispered, 
"Hitler should've killed all the faggots." 

No one else heard you, this I know. 
But it doesn't matter. 
Because I did. 

the one who hears 
her mother and father jeer
at the gay rights protesters.

who has begged her 
best friends to not give up 
their lives 
because of what some idiot 
said to them in passing, 
not thinking. 

who sat in church while 
the preacher says once more, 
"You'll go to hell." 

who simply wants to hold 
that one girl's hand, 
to curl her fingers 
around her waist, 
and smile in the middle of a kiss. 

And it's times like these 
that I remember: 
closets are just as oppressive as attics, 
because I may not be fighting for my life, 
but I'm still fighting to be free to love. 


Additional Resources

Get AI Feedback on your poem

Interested in feedback on your poem? Try our AI Feedback tool.


If You Need Support

If you ever need help or support, we trust CrisisTextline.org for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741