Sisyphus’s Boulder—Christian Contessa (2020)



A lonely gay boy’s thoughts from a bathtub 


i knew dumbledore was gay from the moment it was revealed that he owned a phoenix  

what do straight people know about rebirth 

of seeing yourself burn, of slicing your own throat 


my postmortem lasted 7 years 

my body embalmed, my organs preserved in glass jars of complacency  

there was no funeral, no flowers placed on my tomb 

in an unmarked grave i laid praying i wouldn’t rise anew 


but alas  

like worms 

wriggling out of the dirt after the rain  

i was reborn 


how do you smother something that yearns so deeply to breathe how do you drown the undrownable 

how do you burn the inflammable  


I have died so often 


i have buried myself more times than i can count  

and yet i am still here 


how do you exercise your own soul  

banish the wickedness that is your love 

lock what is so ghastly, that you nay dare speak its name 


i spoke about it in whispers  

“am i…you know” 

afraid that if i spoke too loudly he would come back 

that he would press my face against the mirror that is my sadness 


my reflection had never been a friend 

it had been an enemy for longer than i can remember 

and the broken glass that was my heart could not bear to see what i had done 


i was tired of dying  


i was tired of killing 


my first public resurrection was in front of my sister 

i took her hands, showed her the plot of dirt that was my home  

with care i drug myself out of the earth 

kissed myself on the forehead and begged for forgiveness 


the scars haven’t fully healed 

death always leaves a mark and sometimes i can still feel water in my lungs  

but i do not let myself drown 

i have drowned too many times 


i take my own hand, give myself a hug and tell myself  

i am