Newspaper Clippings

I tear news clippings from newspapers
to remember flesh and blood martyrs

Now please understand when I say
that I don’t want to get political

But when my life is threatened
due to a passage in a book, I have reason to worry

When my worth is questioned
due to homophobia, I have reason to protest

When I can’t openly walk outside with a partner
without being called slurs,
I have reason to believe there is a problem

Now I was always taught
to hate the sin, not the sinner

But when a large part of my identity,
no, my very existence

is marked as something worthy of the death penalty,
There is definite reason to pause and worry

When Matthew Shepard was lured, tortured,
and brutally murdered for his sexual orientation

When Mark Carson, holding hands with his partner,
was cornered and taunted, and then stabbed
to death for being himself

When Ahmed Said and Dwone Anderson-Young
were trailed after leaving a gay bar,
were called, “Faggots” and beaten to death
while trying to reach their vehicle.

Now In the beginning I said that I didn’t want
to get political,

but believe me more when
I say that I don’t have that choice.

Adam Levon Brown is a published author, poet, amateur photographer, and cat lover. He is owner of Madness Muse Press; a micro-press that publishes dark poetry, and a book reviewer for Five 2 One Magazine. He has over 100 poems published in 9 different countries. He has been published in venues such as Burningword Literary Journal, Corvus Review, and Yellow Chair Review. Adam can be contacted via his website at where he offers free poetry resources. Also see his press at Read other articles by Adam Levon.