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The Lesbians in My Life

There’s Ellen, of course, on TV,
but she is only the shimmering visage
of what seems to be a veritable
Lesbian Conspiracy surrounding me.

There’s that song by Loudon,
where he quotes his wife as saying,
“I wish I was a Lesbian,” and he
corrects her grammar: “I wish I were.”

And then there’s my wife. She’s not
a lesbian, but she is a Conch from Key West
and conch shells resemble cochleas
and lesbians’ cochleas are different.

That’s what the newspaper article said
the morning after the night we met, the night
I drew a spiral on a coaster and confessed
I was obsessed with this image in my head.

Turning back the pages to an earlier chapter,
there was a girl I doted on in college
(but I didn’t dote half so hard as my friend Ron)
and now, you see, she is a lesbian

and she works with my brother-in-law
as does her lesbian partner
at a famous cancer research center
and so my lesbian past comes back to haunt me.

Other lesbians I love: My daughter’s favorite
(and our favorite) teacher in the toddler room,
the chair of my department (who chairs with such grace),
my pugnacious colleague in the office across the room —

all lesbians and all lovely. And yet it is difficult
to even utter the word lesbian without a slight
inner snicker; yes, inwardly, I confess, I snicker
at that word: lesbian. Inherently a funny word.

Check the OED: Of or pertaining to the island of Lesbos,
in the northern part of the Grecian archipelago….
After the alleged practice of Sappho, the poetess of Lesbos….
Hence Lesbianism, female homosexuality.

Further: Swinburne..expressed a horror of sodomy..
and an actual admiration of Lesbianism
Is that where I’m headed with this meditation
on the lesbians in my life?

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