Ghost Kiss

toys in the snow
toys in the snow

I write about many things often picking subjects that I don’t read about enough. I have a collection of pieces that are memories of growing up queer. Gentle, affectionate and nostalgic memories, some are real others are wishful. Emotional authenticity became more important than historical accuracy. I’ve read more poems that I can count about the sweet awakening of hetero sexual awareness than I can count, but few of gay men making the same discoveries.

balloons in the tree
balloons in the tree

I tried to capture a sense of innocence, not of guilt and shame. I wanted the pieces to be free of the ‘some drunken adult’ syndrome in which our sexuality is merely the result of some formative year trauma.

I also wanted to write queer poetry that wasn’t coming from an angry, in-your-face, or raw sexual, place. Sometimes the most powerful politic can being who one is without making it into an issue that demands acceptance.

r2d2 in the lobby
r2d2 in the lobby

Ghost Kiss is one of these many nostalgia pieces.

writing sample
writing sample

Ghost Kiss

I was eight

Peter was ten

his grandmother

in tight plum slacks

was a million

the occasion

his hallowe’en party

I was dressed as a ghost

my mom’s easy-to-do costume

I didn’t want that off-white sheet

with uneven eye-holes

‘scarier’ my mom smiled

with a nudge

I trudged off

anticipated mockery in my ears

Grandma greeted at the door

popping her teeth out

‘who wants a kiss’

she would purse her lips

if you wanted one

you’d get the wrapped kind

if you didn’t

she’d cackle

‘ha ha I’ll give you one

before the night is over’

pirates ballerinas

cowboys spacemen

kids in real costumes

Peter was dressed as a ghost too

only he had curtains

nylon and sort of transparent

they were really spooky

me and him slipped off

to a cool upstairs room

stripped off and reappeared

in each other’s costumes

to fool everyone

when Grandma

caught sight of my naked little body

under those curtains she shrieked

‘you horrid horrid little boy

how could you do something like that’

and sent me home

no treats

except for the moment

when Peter and me naked

hugged kissed

then got into the ghost costumes

many of us still wear today

……..

FanExpo2012
FanExpo2012

 

One thought on “Ghost Kiss

  1. This piece touches my heart. How very sweet and tender. The fear of the woman is so clear in her large, bullying, ignorant manner. Excellent.

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