A Poem for Fresno

Written by Jordan Fitzpatrick

Last week, I went to a queer poetry slam and read this poem that I wrote:

Fresno
I came to Fresno As a lost boy.
I came to Fresno And hit rock bottom.
I tried to kill the pain and memories inside.
As thirsty as a drought, I only caught on fire.
I tried to kill the pain -
Almost became another queer statistic.
My trans family and I
We are hungry.
In the bread basket of the world
Those crops are not for us
My trans family and I
We are hungry.
Kicked out of homeless shelters,
Turned away by therapists, doctors, surgeons
And our resumes go into trash bins.
My trans family and I
We are hungry
And so we live off a diet of revolution.
Sometimes the battle is just going outside and being yourself.
My trans sister, Casey Haggard
Was stabbed
And left for dead.
Cars drove by,
People walked by,
Just walked on by,
One person even kicked her
As they walked on by.
My gay brother, Imir Alvorado
Was shot
And left for dead.
People just walked on by.
A bicyclist even circled around his body.
And people wonder why
Why we are dying.
My community is hungry
So we live off a diet of revolution.
I came to Fresno As a lost boy.
I came to Fresno
And I hit rock bottom.
But my queer family helped me find myself.
I used to hate fresno.
I used to plan my escape.
Then I realized
The doctors,
Therapists,
Surgeons
Move away
Because they can.
They drink expensive coffee
In expensive condos
In expensive cities.
They just walk on by.
My community is hungry.
My community is dying.
And people wonder why.
This is why.
I used to want to leave Fresno
But now, I love this place!
One day, I will be a therapist here.
My trans family and I are hungry.
But we live off a diet of revolution.
Like a tree sprouting through sun bitten, cracked sidewalks,
We will RISE!