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Thursday, September 22, 2011


by Roberto Christiano

“Jumping off the gw bridge sorry.”

I am writing to you, David,
as you bend over the slain
Jonathan and cry out,
“I have lost my one delight.”
I am writing to you,
Saint Bacchus of Rome,
as you appear in a dream
to your Sergius on the eve
of his execution and tell him
of the promised heaven.
I am writing to you,
you men who burn
as the disordered infidels
in the market place
of the auto-da-fé.
I am writing to you,
Oscar in Reading Gaol,
bowed and unable
to speak the name of love.
I am writing to you,
you who march the slow march
in the night of pink triangles.
I am writing to you,                      
Mayor of Castro Street,                                 
as your assassin slips in
through the basement window.
I am writing to you, Allen Schindler,
stomped out in a public toilet.
I am writing you, Brandon Teena,
raped and hiding under a bed.
I am writing to you, Alfredo Ormando,
burning in Saint Peter’s Square.
I am writing to you, Matthew Shepard,        
pistol whipped and tied to a fence
in the freezing night.
I am writing to you, Seth Walsh,                           
thirteen and hanging from a tree.
And you my brother, Tyler Clementi,
broken on a suspended bridge, I am writing to you.
See how I pick up your violin and begin to sing.

Editor's Note:
September 22nd marks the one year anniversary of the death of Tyler Clementi.

Roberto Christiano is a 2010 Pushcart Nominee for his poem "Why I Sang at Dinner" published in Prairie Schooner.  He won the 2010 Fiction Prize from The Northern Virginia Review.  Two short plays were produced by Source Theatre in DC.  Poetry has been published by Gavea-Brown, A Bilingual Journal of Portuguese-American Letters and Studies, Hiram Poetry Review, The Sow's Ear, and Poetry Quarterly.  His poetry will be anthologized in the upcoming Gavea-Brown Book of Portuguese-American Poetry