There are so many reasons that I am going to hell:
I talk with my mouth full of food,
organ meats and whiskey-soaked cheeses,
forget to say “thank you,”
and when I was young I kneed a friend in the sternum
for no reason, other than the fact
that I was wearing knee-pads.
The last time I went to church
I chuckled at the sissy priest,
how he lisped his way through the creed
and I thought about how years earlier I masturbated
in the church basement bathroom
thinking of Judas kissing Jesus in the garden.
It was my third and final stumble with the cross.
I forgot my father’s fiftieth birthday
and I envied his recurring flying dream
where he floats on high above hills and trees;
it sounded just like Wordsworth.
But I can only dream like Tom of Finland:
sinewy and thick-veined, of ways
the arms and legs are bound, pinned-
down and pierced, bleeding from
first-time-blowjob-Bobby’s clumsy teeth.
I have forsaken my friends as failures
and failed too in being their friend.
I have moments of horrid peace,
my hands shaking drunk wrapped around
the head of a friend, also young and unwound,
watching him regret
holding his mouth against me,
wishing I could love him
for more than just those minutes.
William Haine writes music and poetry in Portland, Oregon. He was born and raised in Minnesota and is a graduate of Lewis & Clark College.