I remember a Harvard student
who couldn't admit to himself
that he was gay,
suddenly one day
telling everyone
he was a lampshade.
He was so convinced
he tried to stick his fingers
into wall sockets.
The ambulance squad
wrapped him in a straight jacket
and drove him away.

Somewhere he may be lighting
someone's darkness—
whatever—
More likely,
he is still a lampshade,
perhaps pressed tight
upon a hot bulb,
perhaps accordian pleated-
as they used to be—
in the opulent fifties
after the Second World War,
when factories turned
back to confetti
and women took off
their overalls.

Poor boy
he only wanted
to love some man—
who knows who?

And speaking of real sin,
we had just dropped
that bomb on Japan
and radiation
was two miles high—
just dust in the blue.