Once in the dead of night
I went alone to claim my right
To live life without fear
Of the nether world and queer.
Blindly crossing fields alone
I finally came upon a stone-
a sign I was on hallowed ground
And there I walked around
Its ancient chapel ruins
With headstones and its tombs
Then in the dark and silent air
I sensed an evil stare
Without a single saving grace
I froze in that place
And yet by day I do not fear
Instead I find it peaceful here
Treading bones of buried men
What be the difference then-
between dark and light
Surely not my gift of sight
Something else is at play
That makes me cross myself and pray
Could it be my loss of faith?
Or the devil in my wait
Or my imagination playing heavy
In a world that is already
Cursed by its inheritance
That no amount of penitence
Can erase or wash away
Must I wait that final day
For that thing I played no part in
That thing we call original sin
To live life without fear
Of the nether world and queer.

Peter Byrne

Featured image modified from The Ruins of Holyrood Chapel by Louis Daguerre


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