It leaves everyone who says it filthy.
It is born with bloody knuckles, and strikes
the jaw consistently without missing.
I remember the first time it was thrown in my direction.
I was standing in the playground,
waiting for my turn on the swings. I was 7.
The boy who kept clean at recess.
The boy unwilling to scrape his knees
in the pursuit of bloodlust.
The boy who grew up denying everything.
The boy who scraped his knees while pleasing
those who dare not speak of sleepover games.
The boy who grew up proving them right.
And is that all I am to them,
A man who waits for his turn at the stake?
It’s just a word,
There is only power if you instill power in it.
Just a word that sullies everyone who speaks of it.
A word that reminds me every time it’s spoken
That I am less than the common man.
I am just this jagged noun,
Reduced from flesh, bone and soul
To a mere pile of kindling laid at my own feet.
I become the killing tool.
Intrinsic to my existence.
Faggot. Don’t get so mad, bro.
Faggot, suck my dick.
Faggot, I know you like it.
Faggot, don’t deny it.
Faggot, I’m not gay bro.
Faggot, it’s just a word.
Faggot, you need to learn your place
among the real men.
So tell me to be okay with it again.
Tell me that vocabulary changes
As if definition
No longer fits the syntax.
Tell me like I don’t know that.
Tell me I should just be cool with it.
Tell me that I make too big of deal about it,
That I don’t deserve to be angry
When every time it is thrown at me,
It breaks into twigs at my feet.
I tell you that you hold the match, because that is the truth.
You hold the match and strike it when things get hard for you.
And even if I learn to hold my tongue, I am still wrong.
I am gasoline by just existing.
The fire is still blazing hot and angry in the mouth.
It transmutes the tongue into a weapon.
The word has no room for love
When it assigns men like me a property value.
Fags burn fags until you breed none of them.
— Someone Said This To Me Today and This Is My Response (Lorne Ryan)