Dedicated to the freedom and dignity of gay men.

In USA they were banned
to say truth in the army, as if
when they held rifles in illegal Iraq
their muscles would melt, as if
when they saw Qur’ans
in virulent Afghanistan
they would set them alight.

In Turkey where nature rises,
cracks the earth’s mundane stoned shell,
they are ordered to bring photos
of their bare bodies with boyfriends,
to prove their arms and their legs
their designs and intent
should not be admitted in armed uniforms.

In India where one thousand films
etched on celluloid each year,
they are served the fame of shame
of dancing and singing to each other;
in a society where dream wedding sweaters
knit by uncles and aunties
wrap them with tight red buttons,
choice is seldom, freedom 35mm.

In Egypt where they touch
fingers and wrists, clothed chests and thighs
in streets, markets and parks
under the veil
of brotherhood and friendship,
behind coiled iron blockades
of intimacy and relationships,
their heartbeats of desire and heat
drum unchecked.

In Britain where few say
‘some people are so gay’,
last month
I met Ryan my friend,
I still think of him.

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Sumeet Grover

Sumeet Grover is the founder of Global Poetry, dedicated to creativity, human dignity, dialogue and global citizenship. He is a winner of the Portico Brotherton Open Poetry Prize 2014 and was shortlisted for the Jane Martin Poetry Prize in 2014 & 2015. He has authored three books of poetry: Signals (2017), House Arrest & Disobedience (2015) and Change (2011). Grover is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment.

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