Recovering Homophobe | Morgan Driscoll

©2022 Miroslava Panayotova
The fear just really never went away of 
someone different but the same,
whose passions are equivalent
but aimed at something opposite
to preferences my own body 
will allow.

I work at understanding every day:
my family, friends, and strangers, 
my father, passed away these
three years now. I think I understood
him decently but still, I hide my eyes
from photos of his naked boyfriends.
Dad’s computer was a minefield 
and I wish he’d had a better way to label files but
I wish he hadn’t died in discreet steps as well.
I wish I understood the human heart, libido, soul,
all the bits which can get us 
into so much trouble.

At twelve a man’s hand cupped my face
as I, an unaccompanied minor flew
to visit somewhere I’d been sent. He told me he
was helping with my cabin pressure headache
but I knew
what inappropriate meant.

At sixteen I was in my bed asleep,
a man was visiting from overseas-
some candidate for PHD, someone that
my father once had met. 
My room contained the only bed for guests. 
I told my Dad and Mom and later on, that man had left.

Standing in the concourse of Grand Central
once when I was seventeen
a gentleman approached, so interested in me
naive and parent free, his curiosity
was evident in how he followed
when I tried to leave.

At twenty-one I kissed a pretty girl
who had no interest in my kiss,
and turned away as I continued 
to insist and hold her close to me
and told her she, mis-understood 
her own desires. 

When I started my own business I brushed the arms of  
female hires as I spoke to them. 
I told myself it had to do 
with my communication skills and not 
some psychosexual power thrill.
But maybe I know better now.

I hate the men who used me in and for my youth.
Their addled bodies changing them 
into alarming brutes, reinforcing bias 
towards a group attacked with bigotry, and I 
learning to find pleasure in dislike of something unlike me;
ignorant of my own truths.
I wonder if my sins have caused
damage lasting over years,
irrational and complex fears or hatred aimed
at innocence, past 
anytime it might have made 
any kind of sense. 

And here’s a man who’s speaking of his husband, 
and it makes me feel uneasy 
placing words in places that
they didn’t used to be, instead of maybe 
wondering if someone else can try to have a try 
to crack the code of trying 
to be happy.

©2022 Morgan Driscoll
All rights reserved

Morgan Driscoll…

…lives in Connecticut and writes poetry to supplement his income as a commercial artist. He has been published in 30+ journals and anthologies and has made over $100.

You can find his work in Humanist Magazine, The Penwood Review, The Orchards Poetry Journal, Constellate Magazine, Caesura, Northwest Indiana Literary Journal, The Avenue, Meetinghouse, Newtown Literary, and many other


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