Identifying Parts of You in Plays

after Suddenly Last Summer by Tennessee Williams

Violet descending, grieving light in the white shade
of a jungle that strangled the dinosaurs,
Venus; the fly trap for a summer’s notebook
of fine young cannibals along a coast of blazing sands
where saint Sebastian dug down into sin
and beak broke into the belly of all they had named
as enchanted.

The Blue jays had departed to other places;
blond shores after a season of too many browns.

In the operating room, sugar is a dose of doctor
caught between cause and the cost of being peaceful
after the dry heat of all that horror,
of sliding desire back into the parts it cannot dissect
and the Drum not bright enough to silence.

Rainbows were only reflections of light
before they became pathways of pride.

Suddenly, in the last summer of kindergarten,
I am closeted case in the examination room of teenager;
turning Tennessee pages tentatively,
dreaming of tasting how it would feel to catch fire
for a moment, in a summer that didn’t burn,
on a faraway beach that stank of wolf’s breaths
and flesh eating birds; a desire to be torn
from the choke of all those Venable pearls.

Lonely is deeper than death, alphabet blocks
are only clutter in the darkness of a closet.
A lobotomy is a cut cold to consideration.

This was one of the first plays I saw the movie version of when I was trying to come to terms with my own identity. It’s difficult to understand who you are when on TV or stage they were not even allowed utter the word gay or homosexual and a lobotomy was ordered for someone who tried to explain it- Let’s just cut it out! I read this poem on the Pride episode of Eat the Storms, the podcast podcast, one of two poems I opened the show with. Spotify link below but also on Apple, Anchor, Google, ITunes, Breaker, Castbox, Overcast, Pocket Cast…

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