SOUTH CHINA SEA (June 13, 2015) Lightning strikes the water as San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD 23) navigates between storms. The Essex Amphibious Ready Group is currently operating in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Liam Kennedy/Released)

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

by Yakov Azriel

Pretend you’re straight. Pretend you’re looking at
a pretty girl, not at the handsome guy
in Army uniform who’s standing by
her side. Pretend a hat is not a hat,
a shoe is not a shoe. Pretend a bat
is something else: a swallow in the sky,
a swift, a swan. Pretend fierce dragons lie
beneath your bed. Pretend the earth is flat.

Pretend that you believe the moon is made
of cheese. Pretend that you believe a star
is but a spark of light our dreams create
to give us hope. Pretend you’re not afraid
the sergeant will discover who you are
and what your closet holds. Pretend you’re straight.