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The Queers

by Jim Dolan

When we moved to our new house, my son met
The jug-eared, red headed boy who lived across
The street …

The boy said, Those men who used to live in
Your house were queers … I know, because I saw
Them one night, dressed in ladies’ clothes, and
They danced, and they kissed each other …

He said, They made me so mad, I had to
Break their window to make them stop!

Dad, my son said, did you know that the
People who used to live here were queers?
And Gary told me what that means, too … Queers…
‘Cause he told me he saw ‘em in here
One night dressed in ladies’ clothes,
Dancing around and kissing …

My mind’s eye plays this movie: There is my house
As it was
Before it was mine, still belonging to
The queers —

Ginger colored, and gabled, with black trim and
A pecan tree swaying out front. Inside are
Those men, the queers, dancing their night
Away …

In the flickering amber of candlelight,
They toast each other with flutes of frothing
Champagne, their gloved arms crossed and entwined
As if in a corny movie, their eyes locked in a
Lover’s trance …

Dad, Gary said he got so pissed off that he had
To break out that window right there to make
Them stop…

... The tall, chubby one who made such fancy, lisp-y
Work of the word sisal, is wearing your basic
Little black dress and a string of pearls; evening
Gloves trim his burly forearms, the ensemble
Set off by crimson lips and tasteful red pumps.



You know what else, Dad? Gary’s parents said this
Whole neighborhood is going homo …

The other, younger one is sleek and blonde, with
Fine smooth skin the color of almonds. His lips shine
Like white chocolate, his blue eyes amulets of desire. Somehow,
I picture him in a brocaded pant suit, and a pair
Of low heeled, ivory sandals, his blonde hair
Done just so … He wears no more than a few sparks of

A needle drops,
The music starts, is it Ella Sings Cole? I am sure it is
Something jazzy and smart, something with swing, where
The lovers must touch in order to dance … they set down
The flutes of champagne as the tall one gathers the blonde
Into his hefty embrace …

DAD! ... Is ‘homo’ another word for gay?

Or maybe it’s a rumba, or a mambo? Somehow, the imagination
Wants two men in drag to mambo, so very Perez Prado, the
Mambo King …
But, for a moment, they are still, their eyes lock, the
Tall, chubby one and the sleek blonde, and they launch
Into a long, deep and satisfying man kiss the likes
Of which are seldom seen by we straights, we
Breeders …

And, Dad, you know what else Gary said?

As their lips meet
A sudden, horrid crash, and
Flying glass scatters across the floor, a glittering starfall,

Followed by a brick ….

An ungodly stillness breaks the lovers’ trance as the
Mambo plays on, the magic broken; they are just two men in
Women’s clothes, hands too big, clumsy and tall
In their heels …

They look out the window in time to see
A freckled face, a bolt of red hair, a set
Of jug ears, disappearing …

He said that he would have done it again, if
They hadn’t sold their house to us, and moved away…

Gary must see himself a brave boy, gaining his parents’
Approval when he broke out a window
Because two men were playing dress-up and kissing…

After all, this neighborhood is going homo, and needs to
Be returned to safety and normalcy, he needed to intervene on the
Blessing of love they laid upon it…

These two men, hardly known to me, who sold
Their house in fear,

Who saw this house as a
Place to dress up, to play, and to love, a house of dream and
Desire …

Gary must have wanted
To let them know, they can never be like us, to let them know, they
Can never belong, they surely have no rights, they have no business thinking

They are like the rest of us; after all it is plain that they were
Only Queers and not like us
At all


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