Those cartridges that are empty
are golden like the sunlight
and the highlights of his hair.
that gold like he loved the petals
of the flowering daffodils gleaming
in the dawn with auric splendor.
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.
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.
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.