No I Cannot Have Anything


Here is a memory

of my father long before

I ever heard the word


republican. He swims

freestyle with me side-by side

until I am perfect. When he buys me


an ice cream cone, I feel his love,

not wind, not tea party

conservatism. I cry every time


I read Brokeback Mountain.

My father is not a violent man.

He wouldn’t drag a queer


around by his dick,

but he’d watch. He’d whisper

faggot, but wouldn’t


admit he said it.

I have his eyes,

not the color but the shape,


downturned, sad. My father said

I can have anything

if I work hard enough. My father


said women in men’s clothes

are distracting, that I am not

a man. I am not a man.

Copyright © 1999 – 2019 Juked