Anton Dela Cruz 2015 Lambda Literary Fellow

Anton Dela Cruz 2015 Lambda Literary Fellow



[Applause] from South Carolina poet Nikki Finn I wanted to turn around and drive to Charleston I wanted to somehow postpone the wedding and turn all my attention to what people in Charleston needed what I was doing felt selfish but loved one because love always wins I believe love can and must push through and alter fate even after evil has tried its very best to wipe us out and change our plans a [Applause] letter to a certain queer brown boy aged 10 dear boy today your friends will call you a sand nigger at the end of the day they will corner you in the back of the classroom three of them lined up in front of you with your back to the closet and they will debate the pros and cons of calling you a gook a chink a spic and nigger as they do this you will feel pieces of you fall away boring themselves deeper into your gut but you will say nothing boy I am not telling you this to scare you because I know you will grow accustomed to the casual cruelty from that and around you I am telling you this because I know you will grow accustomed to the casual cruelties thrown at and around you you will dodge the word as it kills those behind you you will carry your silence and guilt in your stomach like an ulcer and it will burn it is not your fault you are a kid you are a kid and the grown-ups are absent you are a kid now but you will grow into an adults it will not come easy or always but you will find the words to fill the silence with noise and music and crackling and sometimes it will be enough boy when you grow up you will find what comes after the silence you will travel across continents and cross oceans and meet others carrying pain shaped and sharpened like yours and you will know what they need you to do you will hear them dear boy you will find new friends sincerely a certain queer brown man

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