Another Song For Tommislav

I wasn’t even 21 yet; I’d just finished college—too early—and I drove my graduation present up to Los Angeles to be with him.

I remember most, the day we spent driving through Bel Air, making fun of the sprawling mansions; that night, after In-And-Out dinner, I drove us through Malibu, and he held my hand as the Pacific Ocean pulsed along the shoreline.

I’ve had other nights, in my 44 years of life, almost as romantic; I doubt I’ve ever have one more perfect that way, though.

Jewish Blue

Most Mormon gay men born 1976 but not here now
—alive on Earth—didn’t vanish from AIDS;
we killed ourselves before ever losing that virginity.

Some, like me at 18, guessed wrong which whole bottle of pills would actually work, so somehow survived.

Soon after though—Tomislav Katsuic—you somehow showed up to be the young man I finally realized I wanted, who could make it all worth it for me, who made me want to want to be married, regardless of temple ceremonies, the 20th Century Supreme Court, or my family’s would-be-native, ersatz Utah gods.

But, Tommislav? My Tall-dark-haired-and-twenty! It wasn’t until just this year, 2021, when I finally realized your favorite thing about me was the same favorite thing about me as Kamisha’s—the girl who was my only actual girlfriend ever, for a month in high school.

Now—and this is your fault! you did this to me!—whenever I catch, in a fleeting mirrored reflection, a glimpse of my face, I understand my eyes’ hue to almost have been, to in my heart’s heart would-have-been-by-marriage-been and thus still ever still be, eyes the color of Jewish Blue.

Prayer To An Ex-Boyfriend

Tommislav, this
Thought, it haunts me:
At first I was
Glad (I still am)
To find certain
Solace from a
Soul’s presence I
See as but some
Kind young man, close
And innocent.

Yet I can sense
How he must feel
Weary, and also
Grateful, to be
So charged with
Looking after
Me, my safety.

Does he strain to
Say it? Or does
He have a poise
That I would yet
Take my pride from?

Tommislav! Tell me
In words that can’t
Be taken back; is
He whom I dare
To hope he could
Indeed maybe be?
Is he somehow
Some kind of a
Bridge between us?

I sit here, past
Midnight, and I’m
Hollow with dread,
With sprawling bright
Hope; I’m too scared
And forgotten to
Even ask of him,
“What is your name?”

I beg you, please,
Please come tell me;

Is he our son?

What The Word Holocaust Actually Means

Shoa—calamity—

That word is what

Religiously

Grouped children of

Survivors call

Their past; half of

The Jewish star,

Colored in pink,

Is mine because

Of how my mind

And dick seem to

Work together

(I’m gay, so a

Pink triangle).

But even still, though,

As I am an

American, still

I do resent the

Word history has

For what Nazis

Did: holocaust

Means “to burn whole”;

It does not mean

To cowardly

Shuffle scape-goats

Into ovens.

While World War Two

Germans made some

Vengeance weapons

—even stealth planes!—

First, they did not

Bring the world to

That threshold that

Means to burn whole.

Holocaust means:

What nuclear

Explosions do.