Josh Fernandez

Flower Mantis

They surrounded me—a gang of pasty faces and chapped lips
singing, “Faggot, faggot, faggot,” spitting like a quiver of cobras, 
and a fist cocked and split my bottom lip. They kicked and pounded
until the school bell rang and I wheezed through my closed 
throat, “I’m not a faggot.” (I didn’t even know what it meant.) Faggot 
sounded like a dim cave, a secret island in a fantasy book, a place I could hide forever.

At home, I removed my clothes/ ran my fingers across the braille
of welts and bruises/ undressed/ found my mother’s turquoise
gown/ wrapped it around myself/ stayed like that forever. 

Bio: Don't get it twisted: Josh Fernandez is Mexican as fuck. 

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The views and opinions expressed throughout belong to the individual artists and may or may not coincide with those of the other artists (or editors) represented within the magazine. Hobo Camp Review supports a free-for-all atmosphere of artistic expression, so enjoy the poetry, fiction, opinions, and artwork within, read with an open mind, and comment wisely. Thanks for stopping by the Camp!