She was lovely, adorned in gold leaf, hand-painted,
or perhaps handmade appliqué that matched
her golden, Roman sandals. She wore
a belt and sash of orange feathers
and headpiece that would have been the
envy of both Frida Kahlo and Carmen Miranda.
She’d stopped to flash me a beatific smile,
holding her rainbow flag at 135 degrees
so that I could see her face.

I remember telling her that she looked lovely
and receiving joy in return
and so, I shared her photo,
but only as a test, which society failed.
You see, she was a man, and men
aren’t supposed to be beautiful
in the flowered way. No, they … we
are required to be lovely in the squint-eyed way
that Eastwood would get just before striking
a match on the heel of his boot or crusty chin flesh
and light his stale cigar on the way to
shooting some fool square in the face.
We are lovely only in the way we suck in pain
and shit rainbows that no one can see
due to the stench.

So, on my photo-sharing site,
while I’d begun to get wildly popular,
I knew that those who see my work
that macho mob of male members
would see my photo,
drawn in by the pretty colors
and deign to feign dislike
for fear that liking my photo of the happy man
would mean that they too
have happy tendencies.

It is a shame I belong to a gender.
Neither of the available choices
appeal to me very much
these days
with the fortunate exception of my wife
who is female.

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