Expat New Yorker James Penha (he/him) has lived for the past three decades in Indonesia. Nominated for Pushcart Prizes in fiction and poetry, his work is widely published in journals and anthologies. His newest chapbook of poems, American Daguerreotypes, is available for Kindle. His essays have appeared in The New York Daily News and The New York Times. Penha edits The New Verse News, an online journal of current-events poetry. Twitter: @JamesPenha. James recommends the Ali Forney Center.
I cleaned up the baby as best I could and wrapped him in clean pillowcases. I had often heard stories of abandoned babies left in the mosque where God would protect them until a good Muslim family would find and adopt them. And so I headed for the mosque and left the child just inside the entrance.
Thomas Bulfinch, whose collections of ancient myths remained the popular standard in the United States for more than a century until the 1942 publication of Edith Hamilton’s Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes, was an anti-homosexual activist as well as a lifelong bachelor. Was he in fact a closeted gay man who sought to hide behind a door of homophobic zeal?
The girls on his campus were not the ones who made fun of the way he walked, the way he rolled his eyes, of his pathetic attempts to climb ropes in the gymnasium, a task required for some reason of all students in the Education Faculty even those who, like him, expect to teach secondary history and certainly not primary school physical education.