Archive for marriage

A Case for Living in Sin

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , on October 2, 2009 by bodhitsattva

Life’s been beachy since babyhood; grew up in Hollywood, Florida, the ‘hood of sandy mangrove hands where bridalhood doesn’t beach well: the tan of frying pans beaches full belly bodies scathed on the kitchen-beach reef. A bridegroom spells doom at the beachfront ball: tall, tuxed, full of nuts—mansome, handsome, but bad at beach ball. Can’t play the game chain linked, gold-ring synced. A ball and chain is not a jolly volley; a name’s sent over the net. Mrs. ain’t a simple title, or a pimple, pock mark, son spot hot for a little man’s ‘hood. Who has an address at Sand Castle Strip? Single Sally selling seashells by the seashore, that’s who.

Gay Marriage

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , on November 25, 2008 by bodhitsattva

This election year, I wonder if my mother voted
to ban gay marriage. I imagine her standing

in the make-shift booth thinking of her wedding:
how her mother wasn’t alive to see it; how after my father

left, the photos of her father in a suit holding
her white-laced hand still hung in the bedroom.

I imagine she thought of infidelity: how she told
someone’s mother that she and her husband

weren’t having sex anymore; how towards the end,
one Sunday morning at mock family breakfast

(that she was still cooking) her only daughter asked
her soon-to-be ex-husband, “When are you going to get out

so my mother can stop sleeping on the couch?”
How she felt responsible. (Mama, you are not responsible.)

Would she go to Papa’s same-sex wedding? He would invite
her: the mother of his children, the woman who put herself

second (giving him the new car and taking the old—
It’s for his work.), the woman who mopped marble floors,

worked and fed two kids while he figured out
just how much he liked men. I imagine her imagining

the ceremony: gaudy, with showy silver-cuffed suits
and more made-up men than women; how she would

go for the sake of her children, for the sake of conversation;
how she would joke in Sicilian with his brothers and sisters

(those who would go) that she never thought she’d see
her ex-husband marrying a man; how it would be hard to tell

what she really felt. I imagine her marking “NO”
because that way she can let the state decide,

washing her hands of a marriage that, aside
from the children she loves, should have never been.

The Last Hetero on Earth

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , on October 6, 2008 by bodhitsattva

My brother didn’t become gay. He was that way before the fight between Mama and Papa, as they were about to separate, when Mama said to my brother through sobbing mouth mucus, “I hope you aren’t like him! If you are, you better figure it out before you get married and ruin some woman’s life.” I was there, but blocked it out. Papa reminded me after my brother came out to us, as he was preparing to tell my mother. “He’s afraid,” Papa said. “You don’t remember her hoping he wasn’t like me?” My brother was seventeen. I was twelve. My brother said, “I’m not, Mommy; I’m not.” It came back to me. I wonder what my brother remembers. He found Papa’s magazines in the office desk at thirteen as he helped at the real estate business after school. We all stuffed envelopes, but my brother kept up the computers. Mama made a big deal about my brother having found the evidence and holding it in since eleven. Little did she know my isolation while doors were locked and yelling seeped through the frames. To them I was too young to know. I was left alone. At twenty-five my brother finally figured it out, after years of leaving coeds in hotel rooms to smoke cigarettes because he couldn’t get it up. That’s when we became friends. When my brother finally told Mama, she was the last to know. She called me, the last hetero on earth. She said, “Every man I have ever known has abandoned me.” That’s where I got that from. Now Christ is the only man in her life. I told her what her marriage showed me: “You have yourself, your mind, your body. No man will make you complete.”