Those cartridges that are empty
are golden like the sunlight
and the highlights of his hair.
He loved

that gold like he loved the petals
of the flowering daffodils gleaming
in the dawn with auric splendor.
The bullets

are scattered like seeds of loss,
two cold bodies of men, oblivious
to the blood that seeps
over the ground

already congealing and becoming brown.
Leonard takes his finger and moves his hair
gently from his cold face.
His tears

alighting on his skin before he knows
he’s even crying. But it’s part of his
job to dispatch the enemies.
A Purple Heart

as a reward for his bravery – a heroic
deed. A medal, now meaningless for
publicly outing himself – condemned.
Don’t ask, don’t tell, so they say.

His epitaph:
Never Again, Never Forget
A Gay Vietnam Veteran
When I was in the military
they gave me a medal for killing two men
and a discharge for loving one.

This literary piece is part of Katitikan Issue 4: Queer Writing.

By Elvis Galasinao Jr.

Elvis A. Galasinao Jr. is from Aurora, Isabela and is currently residing in Los Baños, Laguna. He graduated cum laude from Philippine Normal University- Manila last April 2017 with a degree of Bachelor in Secondary Education major in English. He passed the Board Licensure Examination for Professional Teachers last September 21, 2017. He is serving UP Rural High School for four years now as an English and Literature instructor. He is pursuing graduate studies at the De La Salle University- Manila College of Liberal Arts for the degree of Master of Arts in Language and Literature major in Literature.

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