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Upon Imagining the Field Where Matthew Shepard Was

Steve Fellner

Beyond the field
is another young gay man. This one

lurks in chatrooms
to steal money from lonely

mothers whose sons have died
of AIDS. Beyond the field

is a mother who buys her living
gay son a Chippendales calendar

for Christmas and then gets angry
when he doesn’t seem grateful. Beyond

the field are people still thankful
that a faggot got what he deserved.

Beyond the field is a gay man
who boasts that he never

watches porn. Beyond the field
is a gay man who thinks he’s

a rebel because he doesn’t
shave his balls. Beyond the field

is a gay man who calls uncircumcised
penises “Pigs

in the Blanket.” Beyond the field is
a gay man who is more sexist

than any straight guy. He always
has to befriend the most attractive

straight woman to show the world
everyone wants him.

Beyond the field is someone
who saw Forrest Gump twice

and was convinced that was the movie
in which Tom Hanks plays a homosexual.

Beyond the field is a gay man
who wants to be beaten to death

by someone’s bare hands
so that someone will finally touch him.

Beyond the field is an openly gay man
who claims his meth addiction

was caused by “society’s oppression
of homosexuals.” His lesbian

won’t even let him get away

with that one. Beyond the field is a President
who won’t allow

for gay marriage, but treats
an old transsexual friend with complete

respect. Beyond the field are porn
tapes of bareback sex hidden in the toolshed.

They are found by a wife
who will be relieved

the day he confesses. She wants to inform
him about the beauty

of condoms. As he did
with their children. Beyond

the field is the fact the universe cannot
keep secrets. Beyond the field

is a gay group
of graduate students who asked someone

not to reveal
he was gay-bashed.

They don’t want the story to bring
down everyone’s morale.

Beyond the field is the fat
body of a gay man

who purges his lunch
in the toilet after another trick

neglects to call him. Beyond
the field is that same trick

ironing the creases
of his favorite shirt

so that when he goes to the gay bar
the man he loves will finally

love him back. Beyond the field are happy
endings not created

by synthetic compounds. Beyond
the field is a God

who is bored
with rainbow

necklaces. Beyond the field is
me who begs forgiveness

for his own self-
inflated ego. These simple words

that no one else needs
except me. Beyond the field

is a student disowned
by his family and deluded. As

I once was. He wants
and wants. For the words

to bring
what he never had

back. He does not need to know

that the world shares his wish. Why
be cruel and tell him

he’s nothing
special? Beyond the field is field.

Beyond the field. Beyond.

Steve Fellner

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