Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sunset Stripped

What does she see
     looking over that scarred chain link
fence? Does she see an embittered
     landscape, the prize for an ideological
war? Does she see children
     like herself, afraid of all the horrors
the adults try to hide from them?
     Does she know about the world
beyond the fence, the world beyond the Strip,
     where death comes from old age
rather than missle barrages from attack helicopters
     or bomb vests and holy epithets?
She looks off, at the sunset,
     the far off horizon as foreign to her
as a life without war or poverty.
     She should see that horizon

someday, from the other side of the fence. 

Fires of the Year

Joyous bombs burst in the air,
making the ocean—lapping
at our feet
like constant, tiny, wet kisses—
turn green, blue red, even orange.

Cascading explosions
light the way.
Acrid smoke fills my nostrils,
even here on the far shore.

The other couples play on the beach.
Children and adults watching
with equal fervor. The awe on their faces
usually reserved for concerts,
or Mass,
or football games.
They stand, and dance, in the green water.

We all hope the new year
will be better.
Our hope is immediate, like the sunbursts
in the midnight sky. The past year lingers
like the smoke from each firework.
It quickly dissipates in the warm winds.

We end a year with explosions,
which means
we begin a year with explosions.
The old memories purged

in the first of the year/end/start.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Caveat about Christians

Recently my mother and I had a conversation regarding my essays speaking out against Christian bigotry and hypocrisy. As I’ve mentioned in previous essays, my mother is a Born Again Christian, a firm believer in the Bible, and while no longer vehemently anti-gay marriage, she is still one of those Christians that believe being gay is a choice rather than a biological drive. She pointed out to me that in my essays I don’t make enough of a caveat for Christians who don’t act like the Mark Driscoll's, Tony Perkins’, or any of the other religious blowhards who have made it their mission to make life miserable for LGBTQ people.
And she’s right.
I don’t make the caveat explicit in my essays. I could do it more often but I don’t. And there’s a damn good reason why I don’t.