I Thought it was Safe – Jessie Ray

I thought it was safe, 

In the darkness, 

Among anonymous others. 

I thought I could hide. 

I felt the comfort of my mural on the wall,

A hall of revellers, 

Lost

In this darkness, 

Celebrating light. 

I thought, tonight, 

Tonight I can exist fearlessly

For all these others, 

They love just like me, 

They accept themselves 

They’ve found freedom. 

I let down my hair, 

Metaphorically, 

I chopped it all off, 

Especially for tonight. 

For this, 

Lightness. 

And I danced,

Flinging my body about in abandon

As though no one was watching

Me. 

He was. 

He saw everything. 

Her name was Ruby 

She tasted of the wind, 

I knew I would never see her again, 

But this did not deter me, then, 

From kissing her, 

Heart pounding. 

I left, none the wiser, 

Believing my own societal disguise, 

It was months before he used my shame, 

My gayness, against me. 

I thought he was my brother, 

But it turns out, we just share

Family. 

Still, 

I’m glad he said nothing, 

That memory of night, 

It allowed my lightness to beam, slowly, 

Collecting rainbows freely, 

Growing my authenticity. 

That night, I began to love me, 

My biggest struggle with 

Homosexuality.