Bad(der) Romance

by Ben

This one, that one, those over there.
They look nice, don’t you think? I believe
the selection is better downstairs
she says. Which ones, those ones, these ones by the door?
I can’t see them. That one. That one by the woman
of questionable taste. That one by the woman
with a planet-sized hat. That woman with a pound
of makeup. That one. That man. That boy,
he looks like a boy. But kind of like a woman too,
she says. He looks like a man. A young man,
but also like a girl. A woman with manly parts,
or a man with woman bits. It’s all very confusing
I think I’ll stop now. I think I’ll stop,
I think I’ll trip into him, ask him his name. OR
is it her name? It’s name? The name it goes by?

So I did, I tripped like it was no big deal, he caught me
or she caught me –it caught me- and I asked for its name.
My name, he / it / she asked? I will give you my name
when I know your name first. Which name?
I asked from confusion. From short-breathed,
from nervous angst. From rusty and ill-used
social procedure, from lack of skill. And from a little bit of
passionate attraction.
So I told him -or her- my name
and he or she smiled back and then
I recognised who this was. This man,
this boy, this untalented person.
This celebrity, this undue fame, this idol
of preteens and football moms. This disgrace
to the profession and disgrace to my ears.
This boy, this perverse franchise, with his hair
like a woman and his voice like a girl,
his build like a boy and his pocketbook like a man;
this insane entity of popular culture.

His name was a name I will not say,
his name was a name I’d rather not know;
all the same I’m glad I found out then
before the night progressed anymore.

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