Alan loved in a furtive, shaming sort of way
Meeting wicked men in their club
(a municipal toilet hidden deep in shadowy parks)
Visible only to the prying eyes
Of venomous acolytes of public decency
Defending their threatened sexuality.
Manchester dire, dreary and offering
Nothing to Alan, apart from night- time
Anguished, fraught, clandestine, attempts at love.
Constant panics fuelled by agent provocateurs
And betrayal, by the weak, captured and cornered by police
‘Doing their duty.’
Offered a Socratic choice: He chose chemical castration
Surgeons mutilated his innocent body. Now a pitiful eunuch
Neither man nor woman, Alan ceased to live
His mind, his body. his genius was
Swept into a dustbin marked, “Toxic: Avoid at all costs.”
Destroying Alan with corrosive hatred.
Trapped, hunted, despised Alan knew his life was finished
Mathematics could feed his soul but it couldn’t caress
Couldn’t murmur soothing words far into the night
Couldn’t hold his hand or comfort him.
Sensing a worsening nightmare
Alan took cyanide just short of his 42nd birthday.