forget your sins

MATTHEW A. JONASSAINT

so say somethin they want you to say somethin so say it

you

reckless

you

defiance

you

promised ‘d

not die

alone 

break that now

 

when were seven had yellow bed sheets

in the light one tightened fist scurried corner to corner

snow white lost in the forest the nocturnal pitch her alarm

such fright each turn imagined bravery that pitiful drag

that scene and not someday my prince will come

you

mirrored you

child

 

when eleven driveway at dusk listening to kevin’s

backyard birthday party across the street

bristled with emerald like the witch no welcome no

matter still stung that lack that absence not

like boys not somethin

to contribute drifted off the sensation

of a disoriented aim

called homosexuality

at church gay-neck

at school pervert

at home

you

roam you

disquiet you

 

find yourself now without weapons a woman stranded

by her instincts sucking cigarettes saint gena

rowlands offers resilience her blonde kinda

love time unwinds trash revelations how

simple a morning resist the sleepwalker that

indecision fell vertigo of the adolescent

hangover angels like paper

you

martyr with

no heaven

 

when seventeen ben listened to the killers

boy one day you’ll be a man one year

later not talking not deserve a best friend him

tightened hood headphones finally abandoned at

a pep rally that night he called had shattered his finger held

the phone to your ear made it hot for ten minutes after

you

hung

up you in

complete

demand you

irreconcil

able

 

pulled close first time he’d said i’m your

friend and, i’m gonna get you through this

adrift in church parking lots lots of them

that summer that absence its maniacal density first time

soon familiar soon knowing nothing

better nothing else

you

were a pirate atop

a ship in the dark chanting to sea

an acrobat inventing new systems then straining

under the orbit of a prophecy its cruel shape

bending space collapsing societies lost tribes

two boys bound smitten spat on until they could

feel god so raped so abused fake prisons fantasy along

palisade drive the perfect houses their fancy charms

you

naked you

apology

 

and then twenty a church parking lot on geneva road

erik’s white pick-up his green eyes

pushing into yours hearing yourself say it yes

could

you

kiss me

yes sir he beamed and there

you

found somethin

didn’t you

 

or

lost it

 

chosen yes own this own somethin chosen

still words fail pilgrimed experience

a disoriented past in cold

perdition we have a communication

problem adam announced a fond kiss

another boundary the map has been

closing in for years decision

dashed to brutal splinter

you

are not the first of but maybe the last

in previous centuries in greek kinaidos

in french bardache in american binaries

now relic in the disappearance of a generation

a society based on inhibition be total be granted

purpose yes what else what is culture does it matter

if a population grows faster still what continues why

who’s they do

you

abate

your melancholy

 

deserve the new name deserve to be gay will gay

marriage render identity irrelevant no referent

to confide in a migratory estate for years

decisions dispel as blood in holy water church bells

ringing glass time’s passed at it again what shall it be

submit no homo simply gay but no

impossible what were

you

ever

no

are you now

no

can ever be so

no

 

traitor withdrawn to sacrosanct fire

a stubborn idea disguise comes easily

straight boys are simple innocents butt-naked

in eden parents want a worthy match to be

recognizable a designate agleam in a proper order

you

guilty

you blameless

 

wavering indifferent an outlaw in hiding

refuse the robbery the old rape the prophecy

there’s a

bridge the canyon mouth black its breath

you

crossroaded

against the next door

 

— would be mere concepts

of people but love any kind

does

involve the senses the body

is physical

or are

we alone

you

wouldn’t like to

think so

would

you

 

who hears you here in this poem

all dismantled down within

its intimacy a cradled spine

gently breathe on trace

presence presences what’s

here you are just what you are

the poem fills in the rest

it can do the same again though it forgets

disarmed

access a fragmentary state fitful

like grace

less and less of them in the world

these moments chosen

so some kinds of love

survive

this is a life this frail amber

       so say somethin go on 

possibility trailing across

every word sucks the marrow

and names they were memories once

go on say it

you

wander you

paradisal

vagabond

you created you bondage you

forgotten

you

famish

you

bravery

you

diminish

you

dreamer’d,

didn’t

you,

pretty

thug

© 2015 peculiar