Peacoat Was Your Escort

Joshua Swainston 



Peacoat was issued

to your grandfather


in boot camp at the beginning

of the second great


war. Peacoat displayed white

stencil letters along the interior,


spelling his name. Peacoat felt

the force of atomic bombs


exploding over Bikini

Atoll. Peacoat hung


amongst estranged outerwear

for decades – hibernating


– until you found it. Peacoat

slid across your arms;


molded to your

one-hundred-twenty pound


frame. Peacoat watched

through high-school debate


tournaments, prom,

homecoming kisses,


sweaty dry humping in the back

seat of your eighty-three


Buick. Peacoat soaked up

the rain the night you packed


for college. Peacoat smoked

American Spirits as an excuse


to meet other freshmen

outside your dorm.


Peacoat skipped Intro

to British Literature, Geology,


Trigonometry. Peacoat

held your needle


and your Altoids tin

in a breast pocket. Peacoat


buttoned around you

on the short walks,


between the lifelong AIDS

alliance and the BDSM


bar without a name.

Peacoat knew no


one asked questions

in the alley. Peacoat never


judged. Peacoat frayed

at the cuffs where the wool


folded into the seam. Peacoat

served as blanket and pillow.



Joshua Swainston has worked as a mechanic, merchant sailor, courier, loan shark, club promoter, Ryder truck rental agent, McDonald’s grill cook, taxi driver, valet, coffee roaster, wine distributor, psychologist assistant, UPS man, Disney Store stock boy, and played Santa Claus. His work has been printed in Open Thought Vortex, The First Line, The Seattle Star, as well as others. Find out more about Joshua at

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