“^Betam ewodihalehu”, The man stares down at his lover.
“I haven’t seen you in so long”, He says, recalling the last time.
They were celebrating their anniversary, taking a trip to ^Addis Ababa,
Eyes shining brilliantly, skin warm under the sun, their hands linked,
Wearing a pink necklace.
They’d sat under their favorite tree, the one he’d proposed under,
The one he’d napped under, head in his lover’s lap
Staring up into cocoa eyes.
Staring up at the happiness dancing in those eyes.
He woke up and looked at the empty space on the bed.
Something was missing.
He made breakfast for two.
Someone was missing.
He found him under their tree, dancing,
With a German necklace around his neck
Choking the happiness out of his sweet eyes.
“^The Western disease”, they said.
The man wondered if these times are really so different,
From the disturbing death of love in concentration camps,
Pink triangles pinned to lifeless frames,
From the accusations of being non-German just because
They didn’t show the same love.
He wondered why the world must be so hateful
That he had feared to hold his lover’s hand,
How so many had lost their lives in the name of
A warm, innocent, love that was no different
From their prosecutor’s.
He stares at the fresh ground, the wooden cross,
Feels the cold air chilling his face,
And wonders why of all the things,
The glorious history that his home contained,
They’d had to inherit the *******.
^“Betam ewodihalehu” means “I love you very much” in Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia.
^Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia.
^ “the Western disease” is what Ethiopians commonly call Homosexuality.
I wrote this for a writing contest at my school with the subject of relating the Holocaust to our current time, I didn't win but I liked it a lot.