He woke up in a forest. smelling of smoke, his body floated up past the tops of the trees to touch the sky like a signal. His flesh was on fire. Someone lit a match when they spoke to him. Thought they could take their mouth and put it against his, breathing into him only to fill him with hot air. His spirit now a balloon vanished from our sight. Swallowed by the clouds. Was it his fault? They wondered. Could he have done anything differently? Maybe if they forced the bible down his throat when he was a child, could have saved him. Maybe religion had no purpose or blame here. Maybe it wasn’t the scriptures that turned his body ablaze, maybe it wasn’t church organ teeth biting into his skin. Maybe It was his body, masculine, but not masculine enough. Muscles, facial hair, penis. But he wasn’t aggressive. He had no fight. He walked softly, talked slowly and calmly allowing the breeze to help him enunciate and punctuate his thoughts and feelings. He was a flower dried up and folded between two pages of poetry. A glass jar filled with sea water, tossed into the ocean. He has no feelings now. Can’t speak out and get upset at what the world has accepted. His dreams are fireflies… lighting up the night brightly only to fade away. Why did this happen? How could someone collect so many violent memories so purposefully and push them onto another human being. Like a cinderblock through a body of water, a man filled his mouth with false constellations. He smiled politely in another man’s direction. Complimented him, brushed his hand against his arm. Suggested affection. Until flesh was pulled away and a man was as naked as bone. A skeleton in a forest. The earth as a witness. The scent of insects and wild animals. A light rain that soaked the surrounding soil. Just open the ground here and swallow him whole. Forget about his body, his spirit, his family, his friends. Forget about it all. No homo
I wrote this about homophobia, but also about the everyday violence that people accept as normal. The everyday actions and words people use to belittle, degrade, and humiliate others.
10.09.13. ibrahim azhar.