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The Acid Test

From my most unnoticed actions,
my most veiled writings--
from these alone will I be understood.
--C.P. Cavafy

For years it was the acid test, the measure
of my friends. If I could tell them this,
if they'd still accept me, I could trust them
with all the secrets of myself.
The acid test quickly revealed
whose loyalties were sure, and whose
destroyed by political ideology.

It was my shame that made me give the test
to my friends. I had to feel
that they approved of me. I had to know
they would not abandon me,
no matter my sexuality.

But now I realize that my solution was all wrong.
It is no sin nor shame to be this way.
Let people make of my life what they will.
Let them think they understand me.
Whether they do or not, it is my choice
to be or not to be as I was created.
An acid test is absurd if I accept myself.

copyright © 1994 Gloria G. Brame.


Whores and Moral Men

More violence has been committed
by moral, monogamous men,
then by all the whores the world's produced
since history began.

Whores so seldom lynch or rape
or build corporate empires.
Like athletes, their careers are short;
they quickly lose admirers.

But those who make a living
from denouncing moral turpitude
secure an endless profit stream
and worship of the multitude.

Wholesaling censors earn more cash
than retailing demoiselles,
although we know, behind closed doors,
they service one clientele.

copyright © 1993 Gloria G. Brame.


The Rape

Tonight I dreamt that you trapped me
in a room. You swore that, before the end,
you'd possess every part of my body
in every conceivable way,
frightening and exciting me.
You gave me no choice, no options
for resistance, no escape. My belly
was your bed, you anointed me
with sweat, rocked me in the cradle
of your legs. I burned, I wept.
All my mad destructive longings
made flesh from random words;
I was pierced like St. Teresa,
yet even in a dream you left.

copyright © 1991 Gloria G. Brame.


Heart in Hiding

My heart is in hiding
from the obsession we felt.
I don't want to remember its banal end,
your confessions grown cold, the lies.

We were strangers in a single bed,
accidentally intimate.
For an instant, we unthinkingly clung,
then abandoned the wreck.

copyright © 1992 Gloria G. Brame.


Some of the poems on this page have been previously published. If you'd like permission to republish any these works, please write to to GLORIA.


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