Dancing Sheep

At first, the passing bicyclist thought the crumpled form lashed to a ranch fence was a scarecrow. But when he stopped, he found the . . . battered and nearly lifeless body of Matthew Shepard, an openly gay college student who had been tied to the fence 18 hours earlier. — James Brooke The New York Times, October 13, 1998

Pas de trois: two cowboys
and a pick-up
alchemizing fear
into violence.
Challenge the phallic chapeau—
and get beaten like Shepard.

Best to follow
like cloud-puff sheep—
God’s wallpaper choreography
herding your scarecrow’s brain
into a corps de ballet:

every step accounted for
by the Psalmist’s psaltery.

Nutcracker soldier
castrating your soul as
fundamentalists applaud
when you perform
your trick of atonement.

Listen to the Lexicon
and dance
to the tune of hate—
only then
does the religion renew itself.

“Hate the sin and not the sinner”:
strike a fag
and cast out
the faerie queen
infesting the feeble flesh.

is meant to be eaten plain—Puritan
apple pie and a slice of extra sharp.

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