Joshua Hegarty

Joshua Hegarty is a newly-minted lawyer living in Saint Paul and finishing his MFA at Hamline University. Some of his poems have appeared in White Stag and in Vagabond Books's collection “Rise (an anthology of Power and Unity)”.

From On Passing

Government Jobs

Checking off the boxes
at the end of applications
asking what is your race?
and all answers are bad.

Do I reflect my face or family— skin
or blood?
Deny my mother’s lineage
or become liar on day one.

White plus black equals gray.
Grant me the nuance of grayness.
I check boxes and move on.

What is your gender
and there are only two boxes,
no room to reject the premise.
I’m like well, I guess they don’t
hire my type
. I guess I should
check the M box, embrace construct
over character.

Check the box that fits best.
The least wrong answer
is still false.

Are you disabled? comes next.
Not like you mean it. Regarded as
able bodied, until made to answer
what are you, deaf?
and I’m like yeah, what’s it to you?
Is it your business what I can hear?

I check the box anyway,
out my invisibilities,
embrace my inconsistencies—
hope for a callback
and fester.

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