So many goodbyes.
The last kiss on my grandmother’s brow.
Her sad eyes blessed, then cast me out.
In a private garden at the desert’s edge,
his sanctuary. I held him close in
tomorrow’s empty, aching arms.
The pressure of his skin on mine,
my oasis, memorised ’til death.
The fountain cried our tears
when we could not.
My mother’s grave,
fixed forever in my heart.
The place I’d come to talk and play
since my seventh year.
Now, she didn’t answer back.
My father’s tortured outrage
spilt words blood-red.
His pain to lose a son already lost to him;
schooled as he is by creeds
that name his queer boy damned.
My college friend, the only one
who knew the truth at first; that is,
other than my love. My friend
who told me,
Gave good counsel, made me
see sense. To live, I had to leave.
My little sister, not so little now,
‘How dare you leave me here?’
At a loss, I turned to face the wall.
Her mask of hate, incandescent,
veiled a love I could not bear.
On the plane, air borne at last,
I watch my country shrink below:
Toy-town cities, mountains,
rivers and ravines, home of my heart.
My tears flow bitter brine for its
callous confines, the breadth and depth
it simply does not have.
So hard to say, to see,
my land, it has no space for me.