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Thinking about Stonewall Riots

“Bone-flower Elegy,” by Robert Hayden

In the dream I enter the house

wander vast rooms that are

catacombs midnight subway

cavernous ruined movie-palace

where presences in vulture masks

play scenes of erotic violence

on a scaffold stage I want

to stay and watch but know somehow

I must not linger and come to the funeral

chamber in its icy nonlight see

a naked corpse

turning with sensual movements

on its coffin-bed

I have wept for you many times

I whisper but shrink from the arms

That would embrace me

And treading water reach

arched portals opening on a desert

groves of enormous nameless flowers

twist up from firegold sand

skull flowers flowers of sawtooth bone

their leaves and petals interlock

caging me for you beastangel

raging toward me

angelbeast shining come

to rend me and redeem

***

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***
Diana Ross, “I’m Coming Out

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