By Joe Perez
It’s 8:20. You’ve splashed
Water on the crotch-seam of your Levi’s.
The boys in health class laugh and say:
“You came in your pants. You homo. You dork.”
You are wrapped in eighty Hanes T-shirts,
Under forty Chiefs sweatshirts,
Under six orange parkas. You say:
“Someone, please tell me what I need.”
Recall your first dance lesson
With your legs pointing to the mirrors in
Two corners of the ceiling. Your
God watches you jack your little cock,
Hating with every stroke
Like the old folks speak of niggers.
Finally. You let yourself doubt his existence
But I know you still don’t, not really.
Soon you will wrestle like Jacob with Me
As you used to rustle with your daddy,
Red skins, shirts off, until that incident
When your chones wet with cum.
You tried real hard, I know,
Not to think about bulging muscles.
How you felt then. A family meeting
Where every member sat at the table.
He moved to Alaska. If you asked why,
They might have said it was your fault
So you kept silent and secretly
Blamed Jesus. Nome is far away. No
One knows you sob on Sunday nights.
Crying baby, clutching his white afghan,
Forgetting twenty-three hours &
Fifty-six minutes when you did not blubber.
Do you know what gay feelings mean?
Wondering about homosexuals. Your
Tongue sticks in your throat every time.
Put a label on desire when
You picture Marco’s body holding
Every inch of yours. Your eyelids shut,
Your torso tenses. Everywhere you’re numb.
Your mind is not with gayness at all.
Part of you, the Chiefs part, rises
To the heaven you say you don’t believe,
Leaving behind your body-mind and soul
(Though of these concepts you know little.)
You are not gay here, where
That furry belly trail leads north. I let you
Be homosexual because your soul denies
Lost souls need to be rescued from heaven.
Six-thousand one-hundred and ten days
Passed since you came from your mother’s
Womb. Few measured in sadness or pain,
Too many metered by guilty worries.
None so bad as the men unfortunate
With wayward genes. Or womens’ lot when
They were worth less than men. All
Are equal and precious in My eyes.
Yes. I let you say for many years:
“God is perfect, just, and always blameless.”
You used to believe in Adam’s sin. How
You deserved the Lord’s crucifixion.
I knew you couldn’t long persist
In blaming a god as absent from
Science books as from your prayers. That’s
Why I let you. Because I am not he.
Note: Appears in Kronology (unpublished)