A hapless neophyte

On the path to love

I stumble blindly

Trying to learn

The dizzying steps

As I go along

Trying to do better

Than my teachers

Who came before me

Who fell short

In their instruction


My father left early

Telling my mother

That if I had been

Born his son

He would have

Stolen me away

Even still

On one drunk

Christmas night

He begged me

To run with him


When I came out

As bisexual

To my mother

She called me


But said she would

Love me anyway

As she begged

Can we please

Stop talking

About this?


I’ve fallen into bed

With more alcoholic

Abusive men

Than I care to admit

Trying to forget

How their sex play

Turned so sharply

Into acts of hate

Their biting words

And shows of power

Nearly draining me


I think back now

On a young student

Once in my care

On the brink

Of suicide

Begging for my help

Trying to understand

How to live

How to love

In a world

That had failed him


I saw myself

In that lost boy

Reaching out

Begging for help

As I walked him

To the counselor

And stayed there

At his request

As he poured

His heart out

To a stranger


Every stumble

Every roadblock

That I face now

I think back

On that young man

And try to be strong

For him and for me

I think of the days

That we chose

To take the long road

Instead of a quick exit


— B.

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