Why do I think of Michael....
He came to my fiction class
as a man (dressed in men's
clothes) : then he came
to my poetry class
as a woman (dressed in women's
clothes, but he was still
a man under the clothes) .
Was I moved in the face of
such courage (man/woman
Was I moved by the gentleness
of his masculinity; the strength
of his femininity....
His presence at the class poetry
reading, dressed in a miniskirt,
high boots, bright purple tights,
a scooped-neck blouse, carrying
a single, living, red rose, in a
vase, to the podium (the visitors
not from the class, shocked-
the young, seen-it-all MTV crowd-
into silence as he's introduced,
'Michael....') And what it was, I think,
was his perfect dignity, the offering
of his living, red rose to the perceptive,
to the blind, to the amused, to the impressed,
to those who would kill him, and
to those who would love him.
And of course I remember the surprise
of his foamy breasts as we hugged
goodbye, his face blossomed
open, set apart, the pain of it,
the joy of it (the crazy courage
to be whole, as a rose is
whole, as a child is
whole before they're
punished for including
everything in their
To Michael B.
Topic(s) of this poem: Courage
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.