autophagy: family

half a percent of baby seahorses survive to adulthood     male seahorses carry the children & lay them on the church steps at the feet of God     my brother & me we were the children we had a holy light within us & everyone told my father     you carried such good boys     

when we came out as faggots our father [God] granted us permission to live     God gave my father two daughters & told him to throw his sons away two boys     a bag a puddle on the side of a dark road


on my brother’s eighteenth birthday he considered driving his car into a tree     i swallowed a lortab & thought how satisfying to sink into ocean of sleep


i didn’t know seahorses can die of exhaustion in rough waters     their dorsal fins like prayer hands too small to move them anywhere     my brother & i take turns breathing we take turns checking to see if our pulses make ripples across the water

a faggot becomes christ-like

i wish i found the crucifix beautiful

masc soldiers cut up & killed

the slender-bodied savior


the church wants us to remember this :

a father shaming his not-fully-man



the more my body glistens like jesus’

the more my father

hates me


the higher he raises my cross

over the church sanctuary

finally i am christ-like in every way


if it wasn’t for jesus

my father wouldn’t have a man

to devote his life to


soldiers lower my slight body

in the dark morning

my father never would have thought


people could find me beautiful


Andrew Hahn’s work has been feature in Screen Door Review, Crab Fat Magazine, Rappahannock Review, Crab Creek Review, and Lunch among others. His chapbook of poems God’s Boy is forthcoming from Sibling Rivalry Press. He currently lives in Michigan.