poetry by Aaron Michael Toon
CONTENT WARNING: homophobic slurs and rape. Please read at your own risk.
Forgive me, Mother, for I’m
not the son you wanted.
I’m the child you know the least,
the actor costumed in variations
of truth. Counting my deceits
would name every star
I am the son who scraped “queer”
from his locker freshman year,
whose peers snickered fag every
time he spoke, who, after marching
practice, was hugged by Kyle & Travis,
their sweaty clothes discarded,
because they knew I liked penises
pressed against me. & forgive
me, Mother, for I only
struggled free that first time.
I am the son who says he’s “going
for a walk,” but sneaks over to the neighbors’
barn to fuck their landscaper;
who was slipped Rohypnol at 15
in a red solo Sprite, & spent the morning
after in throbs & aches, whose first
time was a blackened blur,
a shadow pressing sweat & cum
inside me. You’re marble when I confess
I’m terrified of men despite
the burn their bodies bring: that blood-hot
flush, that flash of pain-pulsed pleasure.
Mother, I’ve draped myself at your feet,
like a quilt you only half-expect to use
during the night, & you haven’t moved,
not even when I whisper I hate myself—
You don’t caress my cheek, stroke
my hair, or even embrace me.
We are chiseled & hammered
from different stones, sculptures unjoined.