to a shelter kid who died

© 2000, 2018 by Tommi Avicolli Mecca


you were 

one of the kids who raced

into the shelter kitchen

slammed backpack on the table

picked at the food on the stove

talked the loudest

you were 

getting it together you said

going back to Texas to live

with an old friend

fleeing a city

that had let you down

high rents

no jobs

too many merchants & neighbors

blaming you

for what they thought

was wrong with everything

too many men

willing to buy a pound of your flesh

making you feel wanted

then throwing you back onto the street

to sleep on the cold cement

under the rainbow flag in Harvey Milk plaza

you never made it to Texas

never made it farther than

the pavement where you died

thrown away by your family

for being queer 

and then thrown away again

in the most queer friendly

city in the world

for being poor