Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language.
It is June & I read about having grace to forgive those
who would condemn us. It is June & a man reads a poem
where the father becomes a dying stag
& the son says there is something
I need to tell you. It was June when I was awake
past midnight gathering news
about the Pulse nightclub shooting. I fell asleep
knowing I would wake to walk against grief
in waves. It is June & I am happy
that Tegan & Sara will appear
in San Francisco or Oakland.
It is June & I have never prayed to any god.
It was New York in the 2000s
when my ex ran the backstage chaos
at the Pride pier dance. We slid through
a sea of men with shaved chests.
The songs hardly had words & the bass
shuddered into our bodies. Fireworks
climaxed over the Hudson & the crowd rocked
& roared back. I stood in a tropical sundress in the VIP section
surrounded by so many barely dressed people
double-kissing my face saying happy Pride
& where is your wife—
Copyright © 2021 by Shelley Wong. Used with the permission of the author. Originally published in the Kenyon Review Online in February 2018.