“The Raid” by Ronald Alexander

Ronald Alexander


The jail cell is cold
and crowded with queens.
Leather queens in tight pants,
transvestites in gowns,
preppies in baggy sweaters,
khaki pants, and blazers
with crests.
I sit in the corner
on the concrete floor and
watch the effeminate one
prancing back and forth
and yelling,
I’m sorry officer.
I’m sorry I’m a faggot.
I’m sorry I suck dick.
A young, fat cop
rakes his billy club
across the bars and
screams for him to shut up
before he gets something
in his mouth he doesn’t like.
I smile for a minute
then remember the television
cameras that watched while
the police herded us
from the bar.
The films will show us
being led in handcuffs
into the paddy wagons
like the man who has killed
his wife and kids,
like the man who
embezzled from his employer,
like the man who abducted
a child and left her
in a ditch.
I look at the fingerprint ink
on my hands and wonder if
the stain will wash off
now that I’ve been caught
in a place where
men dance with men.

from Rattle #25, Spring 2006
Tribute to the Best of Rattle

Rattle Logo