We’re the Sanskrit, the Olde English,
the queer and forgotten tale.
We’re the endangered species, the dying breed,
the mutations that Darwin refused to catalog.
Our legacy is of tongues tasted, not spoken—
of bodies liberated, not assimilated.
We remember the ACT/UP, the fuck yous, the Shove your marriage and your children and your
heterosexual privilege up your virgin white assholes.
We’re the breed the breeders said couldn’t survive.
We’re the ones that remember words like buggery
and deviant, fairy and fudge packer and pansy—
Words we traded and collected
like bubble gum cards.
We’re the ones they said must recruit because we couldn’t reproduce.
To which we replied with mouths full of laughter and each other—
I may not be able to get my boyfriend pregnant,
but dammit, I’m going to keep trying!
We were the ones proud that we were more men than our schoolyard
bullies would ever be, and more women than they would ever get.
We laughed through bloody teeth that their girlfriends
would never learn how to suck a cock half as well—
so go fuck
We were the ones who wouldn’t go to
the weddings of our straight friends.
Who at one time had straight friends, and then didn’t,
And never felt the loss.
We’re the ones who celebrated the fact that our fucking
wasn’t breeding, who adored our lives of childlessness,
who built families of choice, not out of obligation or by
accident, and knew every lover we took was a miracle.
We’re the last of our kind—walking fossils of separation and defiance,
and when we’re gone, the world will never know our like again.
We’ll be replaced by the metrosexuals, the bi-curious,
the twenty-something gay-but-I-don’t-want-to-define-myself,
the two daddies and their little girl on the rainbow cruise,
the lesbian talk show host, the Log Cabin Republican.
The ones who never knew the gift of being the outcast,
of being hated, of having to rise above.
We’ll be replaced by the ones who won’t pause
to think about the revolution we made possible.
The revolution we never even wanted.
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Wess Mongo Jolley is a queer Canadian novelist, editor, podcaster, poet and poetry promoter. He is Founder and Executive Director of the Performance Poetry Preservation Project, and is most well-known for hosting the IndieFeed Performance Poetry Channel podcast for more than ten years.
His work has appeared in journals such as Off the Coast, Apparition Literary Magazine, PANK, The New Verse News, Danse Macabre, The Chamber Magazine, The Legendary, decomP, Dressing Room Poetry Journal, RFD, TreeHouse Arts, and in collections such as the Write Bloody Press book The Good Things About America.