Dear Gaybashers

By Jill McDonough Jill McDonough
The night we got bashed we told Rusty how
they drove up, yelled QUEER, threw a hot dog, sped off.

Rusty: Now, is that gaybashing? Or
are they just calling you queer? Good point.

Josey pitied the fools: who buys a perfectly good pack of wieners
and drives around San Francisco chucking them at gays?

And who speeds off? Missing the point, the pleasure of the bash?
Dear bashers, you should have seen the hot dog hit my neck,

the scarf Josey sewed from antique silk kimonos: so gay. You
missed laughing at us, us confused, your raw hot dog on the ground.

Josey and Rusty and Bob make fun of the gaybashers, and I
wash my scarf in the sink. I use Woolite. We worry

about insurance, interest rates. Not hot dogs thrown from F-150s,
homophobic freaks. After the bashing, we used the ATM

in the sex shop next to Annie's Social Club, smiled at the kind
owner, his handlebar mustache. Astrud Gilberto sang tall and tan

and young and lovely, the girl from Ipanema... and the dildos
gleamed from the walls, a hundred cheerful colors. In San Francisco

it rains hot dogs, pity-the-fool. Ass-sized penguins, cock after cock in
azure acrylic, butterscotch glass, anyone's flesh-tone, chrome.

Jill McDonough, "Dear Gaybashers" from Where You Live. Copyright © 2012 by Jill McDonough.  Reprinted by permission of Salt Publishing.

Source: Where You Live (Salt Publishing, 2012)

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Poet Jill McDonough

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Relationships, Friends & Enemies, Social Commentaries, Gender & Sexuality

Poetic Terms Couplet, Epistle

 Jill  McDonough

Biography

Jill McDonough is the author of the full collections Habeas Corpus (2008) and Where You Live and the chapbook Oh, James! (2012). The recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fine Arts Work Center, the New York Public Library, the Library of Congress, and Stanford’s Stegner program, she taught incarcerated college students through Boston University’s Prison Education Program for 13 years. Her work . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Friends & Enemies, Social Commentaries, Gender & Sexuality

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Couplet, Epistle

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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