half a percent of baby seahorses survive to adulthood male seahorses carry the children & lay them on the church steps at the feet of God my brother & me we were the children we had a holy light within us & everyone told my father you carried such good boys when we came out as faggots our father [God] granted us permission to live God gave my father two daughters & told him to throw his sons away two boys a bag a puddle on the side of a dark road on my brother’s eighteenth birthday he considered driving his car into a tree i swallowed a lortab & thought how satisfying to sink into ocean of sleep i didn’t know seahorses can die of exhaustion in rough waters their dorsal fins like prayer hands too small to move them anywhere my brother & i take turns breathing we take turns checking to see if our pulses make ripples across the water
a faggot becomes christ-like
i wish i found the crucifix beautiful masc soldiers cut up & killed the slender-bodied savior the church wants us to remember this : a father shaming his not-fully-man son the more my body glistens like jesus’ the more my father hates me the higher he raises my cross over the church sanctuary finally i am christ-like in every way if it wasn’t for jesus my father wouldn’t have a man to devote his life to soldiers lower my slight body in the dark morning my father never would have thought people could find me beautiful
Andrew Hahn is the author of the poetry chapbook GOD’S BOY from Sibling Rivalry Press. His work has been featured in Hobart Pulp, Barren Magazine, and The Florida Review among others.