Sunday, February 13, 2011


For Gavin

We must be mutants then. The DNA
tests confirm it. And our love for combat
boots, angora sweaters, animals,
the ones we used to fuck like mad, but now
we must feed. We are nurses. We can

handle nukes in nylons. We absorb
cosmic rays. We write poems and plays
which baffle all the critics because love,
like life, is so damn baffling. Shakespeare
would understand us. Sappho. Housman.

Housman the best. Dog and cat lovers.
Apple people. Adam. Eve. I believe
a lad I liked and almost slept with once—
named Steve—no relation to the saint
I kissed goodbye and never saw again.

Who are we then? We few, that happy few,
the lucky ones, that band of others, who
stood at Stonewall, Dunkirk, and Thermopylae
against barbarians. We are their tongues,
lungs, vocal cords—the voices of the dead.

We are unlikely heroes, you and I:
naked, standing up against the sky.

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