from HOMOSEXUAL PANIC: William Simpson, 1954

Monday, July 15, 2019

It wasn’t as the men said. The moon from its broken phonograph, testifying over and over.  Spinning on its plinth of sky, its tonearm hovering like a black tongue: an endless rehearsal of all it must remember, of all it must say.

It wasn’t as the men said. No sideways robbery, no pervert. Just a boy baptized on 134th and Biscayne by two men and a pistol. No pervert: a flight attendant, 27 and queer, modest as cream.

Then, queers on the front page of the Herald. Queers buried beneath the fold. Handcuffed in the backseats of cruisers. Jailed, beaten. Queers forgetting Little Arch Creek, scrubbing the pavement clean of your blood.  Evaporating like music. Dead queers roaming the naked freeway in the night-spun rain.

The jurors asking: What’s another pervert turned to sky?

Monday, July 15, 2019