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 joshuaswainston.com.

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