If I Tell You I Love A Woman
can church music still sway in the hard pew of my heart
necessary as a thumb when it comes to holding things
like a hymnal or a rough woman’s soft hand
& can I still love country music and men
with strong arms & the cheap beer beading their dark
beards while nighttime is still half a day away
the truth sits white and nestled against an eight ball
somewhere in a county with no downtowns yes I touch
my lips to my lover’s lips and rapturing through me
a cry you might rightly name fire and yes I come
filthy to the eyes of God denying myself
has never been my particular gift and it is true
that I have stopped looking for crosses on which to hoist
my body being honestly mostly too sore to climb
but if I tell you I’m gay and alone here on the abandoned
farm of myself will you prepare me a dish
& will you knock softly and call me neighbor
& will you lift a hot bite to my opening lips?
About the writer:
Rachel Custer‘s first full-length collection, The Temple She Became, is available from Five Oaks Press. Other work has previously been published or is forthcoming in Rattle, OSU: The Journal, The American Journal of Poetry, B O D Y, [PANK], and The Antigonish Review. Rachel Custer is the O:JA&L “Featured Writer” for February 2019. On February 13, 2019, Rachel Custer officially became a recipient of a 2019 Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Image: “Sunday Morning Series: No. 2” by Alejandro Rosemberg. Oil on canvas. 19.7 x 35.4 inches. 2012. By permission. Rosemberg is a hyperrealist painter. Rosemberg is from Buenos Aires where he paints and teaches classical techniques. He attended the National University of Codoba Art School where he received his degree on Fine Arts in Painting. He continued his study of classical painting based on the Italian Great Masters Tradition with Maestro Claudio Bogino. Alejandro Rosemberg is the O:JA&L “Featured Artist” for February 2019.