A Poem, Submitted for Your Approval. Or Bloodthirsty Ridicule. You decide!

Pieta

Alone and alive inside myself, beside my father
in the 6th Floor’s sprawling TV room; I’m halfway
through my final walk of the night, more
of a pained shuffle. Outside,
everything is frost and darkness
save the death sentence imposed as if by lottery—
to lay my head without question atop the stump
of an oak—it ends here—the swift slam of a cleaver:
I swore sideways, upside down, even backwards
in French and the bishop, rejoicing, absolved my sins.
I came back not much later, and he was gone.
The new one cared only to condemn my queerness;
my death was such a bore.


Creation grovels out of agony,
never love, and your name spoken
with love under a hushed, night sky
will unleash, in staggering kaleidoscopic magnificence,
an extended glimpse of heaven,
and then they’ll see, they’ll understand:
Love is Love is Love. But the name
is not yours. It was they who greeted
me with the mud-scented wind, bothering
the March garden, the monument, the parking lot
beside the cypresses—not you. I followed them
inside; they were nothing like you.


When the pieta commenced the stars staggered
into strange constellations. I heard bloodthirst
in the bellow of a coyote and, because the full moon
was not a mystery, not a portent, I galloped back
to the boys who wouldn’t avoid me. Who were you
to take their place, to judge my lust,
your limbs and whispers
buried beneath a measly sheet
of leaves, powerless as a mouse
against my raging nature?

Seth Cason
Revised 2019

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