Ex-Jesus freak turned gay
stud, you still quoted from Job when,
roughed up and rolled, you begged
for quick healing; not that you
believed a word you prayed, nor
did I, both apostates, both teenaged
outcasts, and I was hardly surprised
when one night, bruises faded,
you fled Texas without a note.

Driving through Wisconsin, three a.m.,
you stopped to photograph a town,
you wrote, was calm and white
as a child’s Bethlehem
You mailed the print to me,
but afterwards answered
my letters with postcards:
Fire Island, Saks Fifth Avenue.
New York is fun. Doing well.

The streetlamps’ brilliant orbs
and the snowy homes,
the bridge and roads
glow, reflected in a river.
Lights trail on deepest violet, leading me
to you, camera at your eye,
in the viewfinder centering your town
between water and a sky
of no stars, only velvety mauve.


Prodigal — 2 Comments

  1. Thank you, Claudette. I’ve been in the same circumstances as you describe, and those experiences, in part, informed the poem–the longing for an answer, when religion doesn’t provide it, can be difficult to endure.

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