Queer Theory
Sometimes I think I’m Kathleen Turner, not all

Broadway-ed up, bitch and whiskey,
        but more
    stiletto-ed, a vapor

liqueur with tiny tits who can mind-
    William Hurt until

his groin is wrecked and he murders.

That kind of power. That kind
        of lure.
    How else to gloss the afternoon

between trains—Chicago—
        the Art Museum.
    I remember:  it was crowded.

There was a butterfly in my palm.

I was still a blonde then, hair down
        to my
    shoulders, in torn jeans

and buckskin, lingering before
    At the Moulin Rouge.  

I thought I was a man, but then

I was all panther, Body Heat,
        a green
    face tipped against another man’s

longing, his whispering:  how
    had to extend the canvas 

(you can see the cut line)


to give more body to the work.
        By which
    he meant his place, my mouth,

his...  hand fluttering
        in my hand.
    By which he meant

Chagall, that blue world...

his ace gear angel, fabulous
    closeted cake boy,

limp-armed, a little lame
    the pants, flaming, fruit,



I had a woman then (this
    wrong) and was a dog for it. 

Was a hound so when she asked me
        to do X
    in a dark room,
I did, and together,

we burned a law.
        As for Chicago,
    nothing happened.

I morphed back to being
        a man,
    if that’s what I was in the first place,

made the train,

held jobs, had boring sex, raised
        a daughter.
    But still that blue light, skewed

light, was everywhere...
        in the side-long
    glances from other men,

from neighbors

who thought I was gay, in what
        my wife read,
    pressed so far down

into the grain of a pew
        it would take her
    nearly half

her life—


and her mother’s death—before
        she took
    my hand and put it down. Our

daughter was in the other room—
        we were
    whispering—our words

were knives. We made

the cut lines—the canvas tore.
        She was sad,
    apologetic. She had never killed

a man before, or fashioned such
        a perfect
    death. And then a little nervous—


she had yet to taste a woman,

my malfior, madivinaise,
        my she who drinks
    from the cup.

It was missionary work after that.
    sex. What to do

with the child, though

the child had long floated,
        gone Chagall
    one Christmas

with scissors and crayons. 
        I remember: the school room
    wall was crowded.

We were scrunched in tiny desks,
two skewed parents, elbows
    kneecaps, beholding a litter

of angels, 29  in all,
    in a wedge, identically robed,

pre-fab, wheeling

from a blood feather hub: what
    daughter saw in that nulling

heaven: herself as Adonis,
    sculpted, blue, glittery with

anti-gravity, trumpeting her mute refusal.
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