I never / had. Big sweaters, / bigger glasses, / a patriarch.

Photo by Wonderlane / Unsplash

by Catherine Fields

Selected by L.M. Cole

The old article gushed
over him, praising
his soulful
brown eyes, his bleeding
heart. We all laughed
even though we agreed.
He was always so handsome,
even if studios glanced,
recognized his Jewishness,
and threw him roles
as villains
of the week, aliens,
marginalized men.

And he was good —
not just as an actor,
although his skill
launched a franchise.
It’s so rare
for an artist you’re attracted
to, who plays
a character you adore,
to themselves be worthy
of your love
(as evidenced by his costar
to this very day).
But he produced gay
films in the sixties,
crafted photography
celebrating fat
women, attended therapy
simply to practice his Yiddish.

A young fruit’s dream.

As he aged,
he shifted from the only man
I desperately
pine for as a husband
into a grandfather
who could be everything

I never
had. Big sweaters,
bigger glasses,
a patriarch.
And he gave
himself freely
to any surrogate
who wanted
to be a grandchild.

Fans’ outrage
at the title
of his first autobiography
baffles me. He was not
He was Leonard Nimoy.
And if I could, I would dot
the “i” with a heart.

Catherine Fields is a student at The Ohio State University. She loves writing, drawing, cooking, and her one-eyed dog Winkie. You can find her on Twitter @cfields1031.