I knew a fellow,
who was so normal,
he made my back teeth hurt.
We were friends after a fashion.
Spent time together.
He wore white gym shoes,
and called them sneakers.
He wore t-shirts in the winter.
He listened to literally, no music.
He was married but refused to sleep with his wife,
couldn’t risk knocking her up, he said.
better to get the occasional hummer in an alley, he said.
He was always smiling,
but his eyes never did.
He drank a fifth of Smirnoff blue label every night,
but never went to bars.
one shot at a time,
with a can of coca cola chaser.
Four shots to each can,
One night after 5 cans of coke,
he told me.
That his brother had been a transvestite and a prostitute.
He had been murdered in the Uptown CPD lockup,
The cops had thought it funny to throw the sissy in with the animals.
Four fellas had raped him, then kicked him to death.
His parents hadn’t attended the funeral.
He said his parents blamed themselves.
that even though they had tied them to their beds at night
to stop those dirty boys for touching themselves,
that they had failed,
and the devil had taken both their sons
I saw the house he grew up in once.
It looked perfectly normal.
I guess some nightmares look just fine from the outside.