Photo by Elisabeth Kim

The Little Figure
John Gilgun

In Memory of Matthew Shepard

The nurse hands me a red crayon.

"Draw your pain on the little figure.
Show me where you hurt."

The color is the color of blood.
Blood flows from the forehead
to the shoulders to the belly
to the knees to the toes
to the navel to the thighs.

It spreads from the mouth
to the chin to the chest
to the cock to the balls.

"I hurt all over," I tell the nurse.

Suddenly the little figure sits up.
It opens its mouth.
Its teeth are black.
Its tongue is black.
Its throat is black.

I bend toward it and ask,
"Who are you?"

It answers,
"I am your gay soul. Take my hand."

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