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Tuesday, March 07, 2023


by Cecil Morris

When the evangelical Christian group objects
to the drag show fundraiser at my high school
I think about the layers and layers of clothes
that drag queens don to hide and reveal themselves,
the revelation there disguised as camouflage.
I think of the teen performers, their happy hearts
aflutter, swelling at doing good for their friends
and, maybe, speaking their own truth this one night,
free at last of fear. I think, too, of the swim team
I coached, the high school boys and girls in Lycra suits
so tight, their all revealed to minimize their drag,
the chlorinated water streaming over all 
those athletic kids, their genitals (whichever ones)
on sanitized display. And the cheerleaders at games,
the girls at school dance shows in scanty costumes clad,
their gyrations, their undulations, their high kicks, 
the boys dressed as cheerleaders at powder-puff games
(with balloons for breasts inside those too-tight sweaters), 
all well and good and part of God’s great plan I guess
for no tsunami of e-mailed outrage floods
the school board and threatens to bring their righteous faith
to fill the board’s next meeting with the fear of God.
I think of our school board members, no Moses-es
to part the Red Sea, their elected hearts hardened
against LGBTQ kids, those two-faced pols
who applaud the group for supporting our LG
BTQ students who struggle for acceptance
but thank them for not doing it on our campus
where Pentecostal flames yet burn. God, they are snakes.

Cecil Morris wiles away his retirement—after 37 years of teaching high school English!—reading, writing, and riding the bike that doesn’t move through scenery of podcasts and boredom.  His recent publications include "The Nine Ways of St. Dominic" at Amethyst Review, "after our daughter passes, we go camping" at Neologism Poetry Journal.  He also has poems in or forthcoming in Carmina Magazine, Evening Street Review, The New Verse News, Sugar House Review, and other literary magazines.