anthem for red clay queer america

Updated: Aug 21, 2019

anthem for red clay queer america

We’ll always be here

in our backroom bars and bookstores

the jawline of the tattooed butch tending bar

the tender boy thumbing your mouth under the live oak

We’ve always been here

under the red eye of the pastor-politician

You mix your iced tea

sit on your front porch

in cutoffs and rolled sleeves,

coveralls and baseball caps

rainbow tees and shots of T

fishing the lake. swimming the creek.

The humid air embraces us equal.

the ones who stayed

to dig toes into red clay.

not scattering to the bustling coast but

holding together, kudzu over the old barn

where you first kissed, for real

and felt the buzz of cicadas under your skin

the wink of lightning bugs behind your eyelids.

we’ll stay

and watch the sun set over the pines.


for Samantha Allen, “Real Queer America”


©2019 Johanna Berliner