thought that I could be
someone’s father

but I
do have it. It’s just
I’m “unfit for service”

how gay
guys come about we
come about like sharks

and then it’s too late
I’d tell my son about sharks

he’d say
“You can’t really mean
that you for real saw a shark

show me a shark then
on this map of Florida

looks like
a shark if he bent
himself over and scratched

his gills.”
I’d tell him I’d touched the gills
before and they didn’t feel right.

a shark exits the sea
a prude he’s done with

all the
naked people coming
into his house”

my son
would laugh at that joke
if I ever had one

he’d have
my sense of humor
and laugh at that joke

and find
things like sharks stupid
though they are not

— Hayden Church is the editor of Maximus Magazine