praying to his Goddess,

he cries tears of joy.

of peace, warmth, acceptance.

love.

he laughs; his life so full,

spilling over with happiness.

right here, right now,

he is complete and perfect.

later, he goes home again,

choking on the stench of hate.

his guardians laugh, jeer.

they see his belief in the Goddess,

in love and hope and acceptance,

and they try to hurt it into oblivion.

calling him a 'fag', a 'freak',

and he cries again.

his tears, this time,

writing his pain on his face,

but his family can't read

and they don't speak his language.

at first, he is able to get away,

retreating to a safe space,

and he is ok.

slowly, so slowly, he falls,

the time spent at home,

abused, hurt,

increases, for he is too tired,

so tired, so lost and empty.

and he doesn't show it,

but death is so easy.

the fear, lies, hurt,

light the way better

than a world of fire.

and yet, he misses the warmth

his lack of feeling denies him.

and the tears

are so cold, so sharp;

their path down his face

cut from their razor-sharp edges.

the isolation he bathes in

soothes his exhausted body,

burning his cheeks like acid,

keeping his tears inside.

at his funeral, they laugh.

"so weak," they say, "so soft"

their jeers mask the world around them,

obscuring the perfect image

of that beautiful boy

surrounded by the Goddess.

both, finally,

smiling,

and happy.