FACES OF FAMILY
BY SHANE ALLISON
The face of Aunt Norris
when she saw me hanging
flyers for a gay poetry group on a bulletin board.
The face of Uncle Weed when he got the word from Aunt Norris
that I might be queer.
Imagine my face
when he asked me,
drunk off his ass, if I suck dick.
The face of Aunt Earline finding
out the news from Uncle Weed,
who found out from Aunt Norris,
that her nephew, who loves her jelly cake
more than life, likes men the way women do.
Imagine the face Auntee Alice made
when it was whispered in her ear by her daugher,
my cousin, Chrissy, that her nephew, the son
of one of her brother's is a punk.
Just picture the faces of cousin Melvet and cousin Toni,
who used to give me free chicken at Popeye's
and all the burgers I could eat from Burger King,
that her cousin, the one she never sees anyway,
is a fag.
Imagine the face of the twins, Kee-Kee and Kenny,
finding out from cousin Sean, in a game of gin rummy,
that it is rumored that I, the 'ham" of the family,
is a faggot.
Imagine how far the wrinkles of Auntee Mable's face stretched,
How Dee, her husband's mouth dropped, when they got wind
of the latest familial scandal that her nephew, the cousin to her
Tameka, Monique and Kim, the second cousin to their children, plays
The face of Leisha getting the call in Virginia,
The face of Duane hearing of it in Wakulla,
Just picture the faces of Ebony and J.R. putting two and two together
after figuring out exactly which cousin I am, and being none other
beyond belief that I kiss and lie with men.
The face of my uncle they call 'Chicken Man,' the brother to sisters,
brother to brothers,
the father to son and daughters, and the ex-husband to his ex-wife in
hearing that I could possibly be an all out abomination,
a sinner, a sodomite.
Can you imagine it?
Just imagine that.