Laramie, America

Some of you may know that I have been writing again. Something long, something very focused, and something that I can only write at night, in bed.

Last night I found The Laramie Project playing on cable and tuned in. I saw it the first time several years ago, I think when it first aired on HBO, when a kind friend taped it for me and let me borrow it.

It was like being beaten, punched in the gut, again and again and again and again.

This is what I want my poem to be.

*

One of the most powerful aspects of The Laramie Project is its editing. Everything provided to the viewer is offered in brief snippets, most of which are only vaguely narrative or linear.

The film must be strung this way in order for the viewer to continue to watch. The difference between being shallowly stabbed hundreds of times and having your chest split right open.

I mean, some things are unforgivable.

*

Some things are unforgivable. I want to believe we are all good people at heart.

*

Over the past several months, visitors to this area have asked me on different occasions the same question. How do you manage here?

I don’t know. I have become a cautious person. The way people pause before when they ask, “And how is your      roommate?” Some I correct. Most I don’t.

Yesterday at a convenience store, I took a phone call from a loved one while paying. I said, “I am at _______ store.” I said, “I love you.” The clerk, a woman, joked with me. She said, “Ha ha, ‘Who’s that woman in the background?!’ ‘No honey, I’m at _____ store, I promise!'” To pass for heterosexual is surprising, unnerving, and disappointing.

How do you manage here?

How does anyone manage anywhere. Wyoming or not, we are all just a short drive away from a field.

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