J. David

That Which We Hide

That which we forget
reminds us

that which we covet
informs us—

the queer boy’s blood
spilled over

onto the square
where his mother cries

and ladles crimson petals
into open mouths

singing homegoing hymns
nobody forgets.


That which we flee
finds us

that which we fear
drives us—

the father’s hands
reaching for the throat

to shake the queerness
from his child

and later turning the pages
of some Holy Book

to cleanse the memory
of the bullet

and the blood
and the square

and the boy
he fathered

lying dead in
the square.


That which we present
deceives us

That which we hide
reveals us—

the boy and his closet

inside is a chorus
of marching bands

inside is a chorus
asking do I accept

the violence
that made me

the answer he gives
is reason enough

for the bullet
and the boy

lying dead
in the square.

J. David is from Cleveland, Ohio and is Editor-in-Chief of Flypaper Lit. They probably love Julien Baker more than you do.
  • 15721
    Ernest O. Ògúnyẹmí