My mom has this awkward
reputation in my hometown. It makes it hard
to look her in the eyes when I go over
for Sunday dinner.
My whole life, the image I had of her and my father
was as tender and loving high school
sweethearts. I built all of my ideas of love
Until I found out
that whenever a couple in town
is having trouble, they call my mom up.
She’s not a surrogate or engaging in some weird cuckold shit.
I don’t know the details and I don’t
really want to, but if you believe
the local gossips, she can literally speak to dicks.
Make them hard.
that make a man virile and full
of thick, syrupy cum.
Some real dark arts kind of stuff.
I’m not sure which part of it I find stranger:
that my mom gets paid to engage in
penile witchcraft, or the fact that
even in her 60s, she still calls it
is in the hospital, on life support.
You probably think that I should be
with her, instead of writing bad conceptual poetry:
it’s Valentine’s Day, after all.
I bet you take me for that one big cloud
on a sunny day, just a massive asshole
without the capability of living like a decent human being.
That I don’t care.
But I do.
She used to tell me that she had an anxiety
surronding her final days.
The tubes. The monitors. The thoughts
She made me promise that I’d never visit her
while she was in that state. She didn’t want me
to get lost in the percentages of whether she would die
holding my hands or recover
and have tea on the stove in a few weeks.
In her mind, there wasn’t anything honorable
to be gained by standing beside the dying.
was a far worse
way to spend your day, than writing bad conceptual poetry.
about gender bending, I learned
from my uncle Trevor. For a hot-blooded,
American male, he sure had one hell of a
I remember the weekend
when my aunt Hillary caught him watching gay porn.
It was crazy, man.
The whole family—like 28 of us—had planned
to visit their house, to celebrate my cousin’s 4th birthday.
Hillary—we call her that now—
was screeching so loudly, that you’d swear uncle had declared
bankruptcy or slapped
their daughter in a fit of drunken rage. We could hear her, even from the driveway.
It’s weird, when you think about it, that she didn’t call to cancel.
My dad couldn’t decide
whether we should go inside or drive home. It was only after
a five minute break in the noise that we decided to make sure
everyone was still alive.
I’m not sure if he knew we were there, but
I’ll never forget the first words I heard him say
in response: “Just because I like to suck a little dick
from time time, doesn’t mean I can’t love you.”
It was in that exact moment, that I became aware
of the complexity of sexuality and gender presentation.