said Texas was more friendly than the East Coast
but she’d lived in New York and that wasn’t true
not for queers and people who didn’t attend church
the year she arrived they put up picket signs on every corner
marriage equals a man and a woman
with a red X marking the hate
obliteration of alternatives
a dirty word it was
not to be homogenous and touch your
four corners to the cross
the year she arrived they said
if you don’t like BBQ, if you don’t eat meat, if you don’t go to Dairy Queen
get the fuck out of our state
you wear too much black we’re certain
you prefer Satan
she became a shut-in who didn’t
believe in mythical devils but had
met a few who walked the earth in the flesh
not leaving the house an irony
for a Thursday’s child
who has far to go
You may ask – girl why did you stick around?
but we don’t all of us have the luxury
of choice
the saying
you made your bed / now lie in it
can often apply
so you suck all the oxygen out of the room
hold your breath
hoping they won’t notice you are still there
but they did
pinching and pulling
you’re far too thin
you’re far too white
you’re a spoil sport who doesn’t like to go on team building exercises
she began to drink in the afternoons
wanted to swear the way she used to do
in Europe
where every other word was an expletive
but swearing is crude in Texas
they like you to sweeten your words like your tea
and drink it ice-cold
It isn’t really their fault
if you move somewhere you’d better try
to fit in
even ghosts can see the purpose
in choosing where you haunt, wisely
it’s not enough to think you can carry on liking the same things
she cannot wear tights in Texas
even in December it’s too hot
you have to mow your lawn A LOT
though she would plant weeds and watch
them enclose her from disapproval
in time, she learned it’s a state of mind
sometimes when you stop realizing you don’t fit in
you just might
and if that doesn’t work there’s always
four walls and closed eyes
growing wild flowers in her mind
swearing a little less often
in time everything works differently
you look back and see
what was once strange
feels like home