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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Loaded
by Gerard Wozek
2005-06-22

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From the Associated Press, August 28, 1999:

A jury decides for the second time that Jonathan Schmitz

is guilty of second-degree murder in the killing

of a gay acquaintance who revealed a crush

on the Jenny Jones talk show. He faces up to fifty years in prison.

Thirteen seconds of bliss

to feel the weight of your drunken body,

to dance with your shoulder wedged

around my neck, your sweat

wetting my bearded cheek.

We laughed in our vermouth stupors

joked about two men kissing. You balked.

I covered my obvious swoon. The ominous

way you fell silent, flashing on your father,

his hunting rifle. Exposed, stumbling

like a deer who senses a poacher,

you cocked your head back,

shook sober: Well, I'm no faggot!

But all summer you had been daring me

letting your foot rest on mine at the beach

slapping my back, lifting your eyebrows,

mixing our Stolis, slowly licking the swizzler.

Nights at the bonfires, the two of us

in a boozy haze, even loaded I couldn't say it.

Those champagne and strawberry fantasies

blurted out on that talk show were a fragment

of what was crowded inside of me.

A full cartridge, twice-pulled trigger

won't end my life. I live in the trees,

disguised as sky. Everytime you touch

yourself, in every impulse

of desire, hear my voice, see my face,

my shadow partnering the solitary waltz

of your limping, wounded elk steps.

Gerard Wozek is the author of 'Dervish' which won the Gival Press Poetry Award.  He teaches writing at Robert Morris College in Chicago.


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