This is Pennsylvania or Paradise Lost
Or the country we did not expect to find
Driving for 14 hours and finally reach
The Amish when we follow Siri off maps
Laced with white bonnets and
Violet-blue, orange-pink, lined cloud
Over red barns and grass and texts
From a boy waiting in New York to
Spank my ass 1,000 times while I am
Admiring his king crown of hair and
Trying not to hate myself more again-
In Pennsylvania we watch a family
Leave the Mama Dutch restaurant
When we mention abortion and Pep
and HIV stigma still being ripe like
THe wax on candle that lingers low or
A 1980s White House legacy botched red
With 1,000 bodies Ruth Coker Burks
Buried on her mother’s estate in Hot Springs-
The boy comes on top of me without
Protection and I am vulnerable but ok
He comes across my chest and kisses
My body for thirty minutes before
Peeing and I am free and ok and hoping
This isn’t just an escape from the America
We already know and I think what if we had
Driven by Fallingwater or if everyday
Catholicism was not so mundane and I
Promise all the gay men in the Italian bar
That if I ever get married in a Catholic Church
It will be a Cathedral and it will be in Rome
With the Pope officiating and stained glass and
A veil that starts at the crown of a head and
Falls to the three doors of Christ, Father and
Holy Ghost and Mozart’s Requiem for a
Funeral performed with a full cast of swan and
The crooning voice of Klaus Nomi on altar
When his date came to your wedding, a man
In a tie-dye purple gown, the bride’s father objected
But someone told him this is the New Church and
I concur I am too the New Church – so ride me
When you are sleeping so ride me when you are
Naked and please baby king turn each white spot red

Laura Marie Marciano is a poet, performer, educator, and digital artist. She is the author of Mall Brat ( Civil Coping Mechanisms 2016). She is the founder of the poetry, video art and performance collective gemstone readings and received her MFA from Brooklyn College. She is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Rhode Island where she serves as managing editor for Barrow Street Press.

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