Archive for vote

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.