Urban Affection

By Emanuel Xavier Emanuel Xavier

for Walt Whitman

Besides the obvious technological and architectural advances, only one thing has really changed between our generations:
 
We now live in an America where blacks are not only allowed the right to vote but can become the Redeemer President of the United States
 
Otherwise, we still live in an America where the audacity to openly enjoy the pleasures of sex and being respected for wisdom are contradictions without reconciliation
 
We still live in an America where the economy collapses while the masses are consumed with preventing the rights of anyone with a fancy for anything out of the ordinary
 
We still live in an America where rotting leaves, tufts of straw, and debris are found in more homes than poetry books
 
We still live in an America where Christ and Dracula provide both excitement and fear for restless lives longing for a simple touch
 
We still live in an America where the impact of urbanization reaches out to the common person more than the obscene nature of poetry
 
We still live in an America where writing about prostitution is considered trashy and profane
 
We still live in an America where poets have to work while publishing to survive financial difficulty unless they are fashioned like Shakespeare
 
We still live in an America where, unless you belong to a church, you are a religious skeptic believing in nothing
 
We still live in an America where overt sexuality, siding with the barnburners, and authoring disreputable books limit poets to a vagabond lifestyle
 
We still live in an America where breaking tradition and the boundaries of poetic form are considered the trademarks of a pretentious ass
 
We still live in an America where everything from thieves to dwarfs to fog to beetles deserve validity
 
We still live in an America where books cannot prevent war and the sick and wounded need healing
 
We still live in an America where not everyone can appreciate the beauty of immigration, crowded streets, brutal differences, urban affection
 
We still live in an America where the same sun that once invigorated your passion continues to provide us with the beauty of life worth fighting for
 
We still live in an America where America still lives in us
 
 

Poem copyright © 2013 by Emanuel Xavier, from If Jesus Were Gay & other poems (Rebel Satori Press, 2010). Poem reprinted by permission of Emanuel Xavier and the publisher.  
 

Source: If Jesus Were Gay & other poems  (Rebel Satori Press, 2010)

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Poet Emanuel Xavier

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

 Emanuel  Xavier

Biography

An Equality Forum LGBT History Month Icon, Emanuel Xavier is a poet and author of Ecuadorian/Puerto Rican heritage. As a former homeless gay teen and survivor of child abuse, he has staged many benefits for queer youth and is a longtime LGBT rights activist.

Xavier is the author of the poetry collections Nefarious (2013), Americano: Growing up Gay and Latino in the USA (2012), Pier Queen (2012), If Jesus Were Gay & other . . .

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Poems by Emanuel Xavier

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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