I saw a tweet come across my feed today that Tom Sleigh is doing a reading a bookstore near Harvard. (I live nowhere near Harvard.) I took a poetry workshop with Tom Sleigh a million years ago at Johns Hopkins where I got my master’s in creative writing. He was the kindest, most generous professor and writer. Tom, if you’re reading this, thank you again.
I wrote this during that time, not for the workshop, but for someone in the workshop. #younglove
For you I have transcended gender.
It’s like being friends with a priest,
I told you, at the end of a late-night bender
when we were drunk on words. At least
you had the courtesy to tell
me (at the diner, remember?) just how
you belong to another place, you fell
in love there last year. Even now
I hear you say those words, but it doesn’t
matter to me, I do what I do
because I can’t say what was, wasn’t—
though the truth offends, or scares you.
I’m your benefactress in a black dress,
your armed and mounted standard-bearer,
your journeyman minstrel (singing to confess
my malintent), your secret sharer.