“He Loves Me” by Damien Bailey


Was my Judo instructor,
Took me on as his best,
Eventually presented me to his sensei,
At a local tournament;
I won, made him proud

One Sunday, at our weekly double feature,
I was bullied in the bathroom;
He chastised the ruffians,
Respected my sensitivity as I wept–
Held me till my eyes dried

Drew me pictures of my favourites:
Superheros, monster trucks, landmarks;
Bought me an Atari 2600,
Stacks of games to go with it;
Gave me a Leo Pendant,
My astrological sign,
Made me feel like a King

When I slept over,
We viewed bloody martial art movies,
Spoiled my system with fun foods
My overprotective Mom considered sin–
Even let me swing his sharpened Katana

Passed my bedtime,
He let me sleep in his king size,
Kind enough just to tuck me in

Years passed away my yearning,
The mysterious rupture,
For this friend, this father figure

When he was arrested
For fucking little kids,
I was... happy...
That he really loved me
And not them