before joan

i want people to say
“i didn’t know he was still alive.”
those in the irish capital with
the biggest god damn shamrock
in the world. maybe find
me dead in some queens bed
naturally. “didn’t know he was
queer,” “his cock was always
hard” some whisper should be
his epithet. fucked his boy and
his girl friends in the super
market freezer. he was a cool
cat. smoked cigarettes when
they cost a quarter a pack.
was drunk in alleys by fourteen.
too young to drive, got fucked
in a back seat at the drive-in
theater. don’t remember
the movie, the car, or her
name. everything was fast.
her pussy was in demand.
she liked it more than the boys.
got high with revolutionaries.
never stopped loving those
i loved. i day dream of their
smell and flavor still. reborn
a handful of times, a gypsy,
a pirate, and a vagabond.
worshiped men of peace. i hear
their names now and then. i say
to myself i didn’t know they
were still alive.

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