August/September 2005

A Damsel in His Dress
Susan M. Sailors

He boldly struts across the stage in his glitter and his lace,
giving them Madonna, Cher, Barbara, whatever they want,
whatever they desire from him. Laughing as he sits on the table
in front of a man, getting a kick out of threatening the masculinity
they all seem to cherish so much, he sings with all his heart and soul.

But he’s more of a man than they are and more than a man as well.
He sheds the wig and throws me the dress, as he hums a tune
we wrote together. I transform myself, as he changes from
what the conventional so foolishly fear to what all should fear.
I wait breathlessly in his dress, watching for his shadow.

And then the chase gives way. I pant against the tight bodice
as he runs after me, following me into the deep dark woods.
He follows my scent and runs faster, soon catching me
in our secret place. He circles me as I press myself
against a tree, eying him as I slowly take the dress off.

He rubs against my leg, fur soft on hot skin, and soon
I change again, joining him in our other form, and now
it is my turn to chase him through the night, as we howl
our seductive song and come together on a bed of leaves
If the audience was astounded before, they should see my baby now.