blackbird online journal spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1



The Quiet Transvestite in Spring

My sixty year old neighbour is re-arranging the times:
wearing his dove tweed with faun trousers,
he mops the cemetery wall with turpentine.
It's grown something more malign than fire lichen—
Cocksuker, Go Home. He rubs at their poor spelling
until it clouds and fades to a pearl grey
like the satin slip and bra he will lift from his sister's
dresser drawer to wear down to Stoke Woods tomorrow
where first snow drops have begun to flower.
The quiet transvestite knows there are crueller things
in April than hyacinth and desire. Transformation
is a tricky thing and though he has prayed and wept,
wept and prayed he cannot be sure the surgeon's steel will heal,
still my neighbour believes the dead will rise one day
their hair let down, the sun turned to their faces.

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