I would do almost anything to see you again
my beloved John, sharer of my name.
Fate took you from me far too soon
one a men's shelter bunk mate one bed away from me,
the other a professor with a lilt and lift in his step
entirely divorced from every expectation.
John M., you shared space with me in ways that few others have. We sat on the stoop of the RCC church together uninvited, sharing wounds and love neither was able to express publicly. Others thought we were gay but we weren't. We just loved each other deeply. You never called me by my name. You always called me the pacifist. I saw your tender side hidden by the hardness. The poisoned needle took you far too soon from me and all who loved you.
John Q., you were so odd, but in the best way. I loved tending your plants and fish for you when you traveled to conferences across the country. Your humor was always so inappropriate in class and in your Greek and Roman comedies at your house. Your triple entendre's never ceased to amaze me. I loved teaching your class that semester on those magical Fridays as your TA. Your helped me to love being a teacher to others.
The name John means to be beloved. These two men named John have helped me to understand that truth. Thank you both for that.