r e t u r n i n g s

Here's a poem written hastily in the blank back pages of a better poet's book in the baggage area of Newark airport in September 2012. 


r e t u r n i n g s


I see her, former colleague

in the baggage area of a

foreign airport.


Oh hi, she says,

looking awkwardly towards the

empty carousel.


Then she decides.

I hear you’re gay now, she says.

Are you still a Christian?


Oh how will we tell this story?


She, to her friends, with

sadness, curiosity and prayers

for reorientation and returning.


Me, to mine, with sadness,

anger and prayers for

refocusing the lenses and returning.


And the anger was all mine.

And that question

was all about her.


Should we not just dance instead?

I should have said,

together turn a little waltz in


the chorus of our own bodies,

while we wait and wait and wait for something better

than the empty carousel of this question.


How will we tell this story?

How will I tell this story?

With sadness.


With practicings of little ballroom dances

while we wait, confidently,

for what is most important to be returned.