Race Gender Culture

Imagine, if my poems
shortly after being written
and edited at least once
chose a sexual orientation
where under every breath
while reading the poem aloud
a refrain of boy poem
or girl poem or bi poem
or trans poem and so on
struck your ears
and influenced your listening
beyond the words
on the page
regardless of how my mental voice
hung the words in the air.

I guess that can happen
when something becomes alive
through creative processes
like writing. But then,
I have heard poems
with racial identity
jammed under the arches
of m’s and n’s
and in the loops
of a’s and p’s.
Even though I felt those
same injustices or beauties
expressed by their authors
I believed it would be
a cultural transgression
for me to read those poems
aloud to an audience.

And now I wonder
how my poems got so political
about race, gender and culture
even when I write
about crafting a poem
while resting above tree line
with the added hope
of spotting bighorn sheep.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

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