Photography © Lauren Shear



Secrets of a sullen summer
Hidden away in the pocket of your shirt.

Underneath a swollen tongue, you said that you liked
it when I called you my boyfriend.

I would never ask for much in return
except to hear you whisper those same words.

Instead, my dear, you offered plagiarized passion,
sweaty palms wrapped around my waist.

A church boy, taking bites from a forbidden fruit-
busy blaming me, when you are the true fool.

You’re worried you’ll reflect the man
you’ve been constantly running away from.

Fighting this fervent desire
that has plagued our entire summer
you utter those impossible words:
“my parents would kill me if they knew I was gay.”


Dylan Sokolovich is a college student and writer from Reading, Pennsylvania. His work extensively explores sexuality and the impact his own has had on his life. “Boyhood” is just one example of such poetry, examining the relationship between a speaker and his closeted lover.

Lauren Shear is a museum professional, public historian, and lifelong resident of Massachusetts. She has been working with activist groups since college and has been seeking ways to support communities under attack ever since.