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Pretty Little Hate Machine

by Chase Di Iulio

My hands grasped 
brick and stone
hurled through air 
filled with shattered 
glass. They brought
down the Stonewall
Inn and started riots
for my right
to live.

My hands were held
in iron shackles
when the long arm
of the law
decided that what I
do behind my four
walls—a place
meant for me alone
is crime fit for punishment
in chains.


My hands were frail
parchment skin stretched
across brittle bone
as the thrust
of my lover’s body
seals my death 
with a kiss
and an orgasm.
They will break in a hospital
room, looking for forgotten family.


My hands were entwined
with his, two gold bands
marking each other
as ours until
death do us part
and white rose petals
fall like snow—
around an altar
that used to shun us.


My hands were clasped
in prayer while the sky
rained splinters
and lead fired
from a muzzle of hate
painting the dance floor
with the red that used
to hold a hunger
for flesh, alcohol, music
played by police sirens.


My hands are raised
in celebration of those
that walked and fought
and died
before me,
to pave
the road parade floats
wander down
and beads litter in every
color of my rainbow.

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