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These Gays Are Trying to Murder Me
on The White Lotus

by J.D. Isip


This time it’s Sicily,
but Tanya returns, a new husband
from the last season says she’s so fat
is maybe why he can’t get it up.


You gotta hate this guy. The clues,
everyone knows after the fact, obvious
from the first chants and the frescos
of mortals buggered by the gods.


Seeing the Essex kid follow suit
with his uncle, “I wanted gay sex,”
the writer said, “to be transgressive
again,” and there she is, a white


negligee, following the animal sound,
I think they hear when I come out,
on a first meeting, at an interview. She
says, “I don’t think that’s his uncle”


but her assistant doesn’t understand,
it’s hard to explain how I knotted up
watching this guy, barely a man, go
at it, trancelike, and I thought about


Sergio taking me to the wall in Rome
where, all of seventeen, he let a guy
bow to him and worship, and Shane
at the bar, on the same trip to Italy,


let this old man hold his crotch, smiled
at me and said I should loosen up, but
kept on losing me to call his own boy,
while I found myself far away and alone.


She was right. Eventually. Too late,
“You’ll end up in some crazy places, right?”
the dark water, this gorgeous, horrifying
swathe of sea, “But you’ll still be lost.”


J.D. Isip’s full-length poetry collections include Kissing the Wound (Moon Tide Press, 2023) and Pocketing Feathers (Sadie Girl Press, 2015). His third collection, tentatively titled I Wasn’t Finished, will be released by Moon Tide Press at the end of 2024 or early 2025. He is a contributing editor for The Blue Mountain Review. J.D. teaches at Collin College in Plano, Texas, where he lives with his dogs, Ivy and Bucky.

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