The Immortality of Homoerotic Desire

Desire thrives best under pressure.

Examine, for instance, the fragmented poetry of Sappho:

for how many years did those tattered scraps of Papyrus survive?

As in a sentiment that has been expressed without end, I quote:

"the white columns of Sappho's lovely song endure and will endure, 

speaking out loud as long as ships sail from the Nile."


And Hatshepsut, who was buried in disgrace--

with the intent that she would be forgot--

was her name not carved into her tomb?

Does she not still thrive within our memories,

within that Book of the Dead writ 

within each of our living souls and minds?


How many beloved were taken from us by the AIDS crisis—

and governmental cruelty, and social disdain?


Yet, decades later— and for decades to come—

we will remember: 

Silence = Death. 

Act Up. 

Act Out.

Stand up for those who no longer can 

or who never could.


Byron wrestled, bit, fought, and beat down his bisexuality

for all his formative years, and all his many more

and learned— the hard way—

that, unlike the L G B T Q I A + rights movement,

his was a losing battle.

Sexuality, desire, romance, lust, love...

these are things which cannot be quelled or caged up inside.

These are things which must be named:

feelings which cannot survive in a vacuum.


And those crusaders who have tried to blaze on,

leaving their Truth in the dust,

they have learned in their age that the portrait of their innocence

was aging all the while,

in all that Wilde-rness of life.

While men may perish, desire thrives on;

a shining light in the darkness

too brilliant to be put out.


Baldwins and Lordes and Butlers and 

Whitmans and Shakespeares, remember… 

you are laid bare before your aching hearts. 

You are a lord among oppressors, 

a butler to none but that throbbing pulse;

Ba-bum. Ba-bum, Ba-bum, Ba-bum.

Truly, your love— your unquenchable thirst—

this is the soul of wit, of man, of woman, of transcendence…

Straight through those hearts hidden from admission

your spears shall pierce, and shake them to the core.


Oh and Lucifer— scourge of the Heavens—
your light shall shine on to your protégées.

Oh and my darling dearest downtrodden— 

there will come a day (and it is coming soon)

when you will rise up singing.

When you may scream, shout, and sing your lungs out—

of your lust, and your love—

from every rooftop, unafraid.


There will come a matter 

which is not of life and death;

not of pen or sword,

not even of heart or cock,

but of Truth, of transparency.

And on that day, you will rise up.


Curse your damned parents!

Curse that pantheon of Gods!

Curse your demons and Devils!

Curse your teachers and peers alike!

Fly far too close to the sun

and let your waxen wings melt!


Because: beneath you are the depths 

of the ocean of desire, of love, of

all that fluid, mushy goop;

and that fall will be the softest ever broken.

And your parents, like dogs, will return.

Along with the Gods, the Demons, 

the Teachers, and all those so-called friends…


And they will beg for forgiveness. And they will repent.

And you will forgive them.

Or not.

For you are entire galaxies.

You are hail and wind and rain and snow,

and you are not bothered by such trivial matters.


Like Sappho, like Hatshepsut, like Mercury;

like Byron, like Wilde, like Baldwin, Angelou,Whitman, Shakespeare…
Like Aphrodite, like Eros, like God and Lucifer alike;

all that is in between Heaven and Dante’s darkest Infernal depths—

your works, like those, are infinite.

Your works, your words

your loves, your lusts, your longing…

None of these can be destroyed.

Not by tempest, not by flame, 

not by War or Famine or Pestilence or Death.

In all that you desire,

you will live forever.

This poem is about: 
My community
Our world


Additional Resources

Get AI Feedback on your poem

Interested in feedback on your poem? Try our AI Feedback tool.


If You Need Support

If you ever need help or support, we trust for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741