Poems

JESUS FREAKS

The satellite dish repair man quotes
the New Testament to me, waving his
arms amidst a pile of wire, his own
personal semaphore system. If he spent
as much time learning how to fix
electronics, we wouldn’t still be
here three hours after he started.

Others like him lecture me, those
self-important stuffed-shirt pontificators
who spout the Bibles verses out like water
from a fountain. Literal word of God,
they say. And yet they lecture me
in English – maybe the King James
version, maybe the Oxford version –
but nonetheless it’s not Greek, not
Aramaic. I doubt their God spoke English.

At least those who shout “faggot”
wear their hate for all to see, fake
Christians who twist the Bible’s messages
into dirty braids to suit their own fears
and prejudice.

 

DIRTY BLACK WINTER

Snowflakes are thick as thieves tonight
and just as stealthy, piling up
on window sills and railings.
Smog has settled in to stay.

Inside, with you, the logs in the fire
crackle and spit. Your father’s harsh
words still ring in my ears, burn bits
of my heart like the embers on hearth.

You sit next to me, silent as carven
statue but still lovely in your skin,
pale as marble, cold from the bus ride
home, cold from our rejection.

“Sticks and stones” means nothing,
a good intentioned children’s rhyme.
I touch your hand, a whisper touch.
You don’t pull away.

So let the snow fall, let frost etch
the sooty window glass, let the fire
die down to a glow. In the morning,
we’ll shovel out together.

 

I LIKE HATS

I like hats, all kinds:
cowboy hats with red and silver bands,

top hats, those iconic habitats for fat white rabbits
afraid of crazed magicians;

berets, black wool on a cocky tilt, making me wish
I knew more French than rendezvous

and  sil vous plait and c’est la vie;
baseball caps (go Bears!);

beanies – not for me – too silly;
fedoras – now there’s a hat I could

once pull off, could once roll up my arm
(oh, how I practiced that!).

But most of all I like
the little rubber hat I wear with you.

 

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