By John Bonanni

May 24, 2021


It’s nearing Easter, 2020. My lover, David, and I watch The Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston. We break it up across three days, one hour per day. I always associated Heston with the NRA, with white old man gun-toting Uhmerca toxic masculinity, but the more I watch, the more Moses’s shoulders and thighs seem to flex, seem to bulge out of the screen, oiled.

In this narrative, Moses seems, quite naturally, gay to me--stoic, slightly neurotic in his ethics, and completely unchanged by every advance from a smoking-hot Nefertiti. Part of me wants them to fuck just so I can see the balls of his bare arms, the sweat on his chest, his sleepy bedroom eyes. The other part of me wants him to get it on with Joshua, muscled by Pharaoh’s hard labor, bronzed by an Egyptian sun, and, also a babe.

In my version, Moses parts the Red Sea. But he doesn’t marry the shepherd’s daughter. After the bush burns, he brings Joshua up to the mountain to show him where God spoke. Joshua looks him in the eye, takes his hand, and before either of them can even think it, pulls him toward his mouth.


John Bonanni's work has appeared most recently in Foglifter, Cortland Review, Fourteen Hills, and Gulf Coast. He is founding editor of Cape Cod Poetry Review


Picture by Brett Jordan courtesy of Unsplash 

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