E.F. Schraeder

Poem About Christopher Street—for Sylvia Rivera

Forget the Supreme Court—she worked the streets 
way before they gave a shit. Back then there was Sylvia,
Marsha, STAR, and Christopher Street,
where people, mostly queers, slept.

Camp for the washouts and left outs, 
the ones whose loudspeakers worked at rallies,
but were too unbecoming to invite home.
Forget the parties and parades. 

Urban renewal swept away their cardboard homes,
their booze, needles, and teddy bears.
Beat it. Make room. Forget community. 
Anything to kill the crime of unlovable poverty.

Cops harassed a world of disappeared drags and vagrants. 
Gentrifiers cleaned up the mess. Forget the rest.
No one questioned the logic 
of evicting homeless people.

E.F. Schraeder is the author of the queer gothic novella Liar: Memoir of a Haunting (Omnium Gatherum, 2021); and the story collection Ghastly Tales of Gaiety and Greed (Omnium Gatherum, 2020). A semi-finalist in the 2019 Headmistress Press Charlotte Mew Chapbook Contest, Schraeder is also the author of two poetry chapbooks whose work has appeared in many journals and anthologies.