Antinous for Everybody

I worship a dead gay teenager and you can too

POEM: Nine bows and an offering of honey


Panprosdexia by Cierra Williams

Panprosdexia, darkness in fire and fire in darkness,
pours honey into darkness for the suffering, for the trapped,
walking the worlds without gender, without partner,
without sexuality, until all are brought home to the light.
Sometimes they cross ways with Jizo Bosatsu,
Ksitigarbha, the Earth Treasure, bodhisattva known
by his jingling staff and wish-fulfilling jewels,
visiting the hell realms and taking care of sentient beings
until Maitreya takes over from Shakyamuni.


From the Barque of Millions of Years Lucius Marius Vitalis
looks down and sees the deaths of young people, boys
and girls and others, the suicides of despair because
their genders were denied, their sexuality condemned.
Sometimes he brings honey to Panprosdexia and
they work together, visiting the dark bars or reaching out
through the internet to those who hide in their bedrooms,
unreached by light or by the faces of companionship
except through the glowing screen. He would like to do more.


In a pure land full of beautiful gay men and strong proud lesbians
who followed the Dharma, Issan Dorsey Roshi stands up
from his meditation and thinks of those still dying of AIDS;
thinks of those trapped in prison, trying to practice Dharma
or blot Thor or celebrate Samhain; thinks of the drag queens
and the leather butches and the nonbinary kids, and goes
looking for Ksitigarbha. Sometimes he crosses paths
with Lucius Marius Vitalis, a good-looking Roman kid,
and if they weren’t so busy trying to save the world
maybe they’d sit down and have a drink, but there’s time
to make time later, when everybody is home in a pure land.

Nine bows and an offering of honey to Panprosdexia,
to Ksitigarbha,
to Lucius Marius Vitalis,
to Issan Dorsey Roshi.


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