7.06 / June 2012

Call & Response

listen to this poem

When did you know you were gay?
my boyfriend asks in bed one night.

And I tell him it was at church camp,
age thirteen, when David, the boy

in the top bunk, shook our beds
in what he claimed was a nightmare

sent straight from Lucifer, the fallen
angel himself. I know now this living

is neither dream nor terror. But also,
this is all a lie-it was earlier, age six,

when my mother and I drove away
in the night. Near dawn we rested

at a truck stop, where she cried,
ordered us ice cream and Diet Coke.

Where she pleaded with me-promise me
you will never trust a man. Never.

D. Gilson is a teaching fellow at Chatham University. His chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2011 Robin Becker Prize from Seven Kitchens Press. His work has appeared in Moon City Review, Assaracus, The Los Angeles Review, and elsewhere. Find him at dgilson.com.
7.06 / June 2012