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Why I Laughed at His FuneralWas dull, as funerals
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It was nothing I could help, the sound of it
left me. And in the moving crowd of black
around collars and scarves and
the formless grays of our town
, bowel movement of black,
broken by a laugh, then two, then
a whole cascade. Who is to say
I wasn’t mad from knowing the truth
or wanting to, not knowing enough?
Bobby Sweethouse died
throwing himself off the school roof.
His mother was the first to collect his remains,
ashamed almost to see
all the mess her boy had made.
Many of my friends had said,
he deserved this for being a queer,
or something along those lines, I’m sure
they could pull whatever they wanted
from a long checklist of things to say,
or spit, or hurl. Words, after all, like these
are pre-prepared, ahead of time.
It wasn’t his fault for being outted.
Or born here, where the cruel earth fought
to make flowers shoot from the ground
only to be crushed by the lightning of words,
sneers, and stares.
I’d like to think he wasn