Imagining Your Penis in Blue After Watching Watchmen
We could use edible body paint, like the kind our friend
bought us the year we first fell in love.
We tired it out in our dorm room, slightly turned
off by the artificial flavoring, the blue blueberry,
or so the packaging claimed. It could transform you
into a blue god who might glow if placed
in front of the lamp, legs spread: my very own
superhero. My mouth, suddenly, blue too.
You tolerate my gay boy tendencies to love men in tights,
capes, or, in Dr. Manhattan’s case, completely
naked. You see any movie with me that might titillate
my geek senses, might awaken a hero.
It’s the double-lives, the dorky boys who are really sexy
and strong and there to save the day that turn me
on. Though Dr. Manhattan was different, so was his penis,
which the critics couldn’t stop talking about:
I don’t need some man’s penis swinging around in my face. Really?
Because I can’t imagine anything better.
Yes, I’ll paint you blue, let you take me to Mars, let us
watch the world unfold, the straight world
we sometimes feel so disconnected from—only observers.
Maybe I’ll don a Night Owl costume,
for I’ve always had a soft spot for Patrick Wilson,
who gave us a slight glimpse of his penis
in Angels in America. It wasn’t blue and shiny, but beautiful
all the same. We could make our own movie
where the dorky boy from Indiana is the savior, the one
with the high-pitched voice who dreams
of fighting crime in the dark of his bedroom. A hero
that could’ve saved the gay man who died
yesterday in Miami. The one who was attacked last April,
but held onto life until October:
the perfect month to die. A gay organization emailed
out a picture of him in his hospital bed,
his little dog there to say goodbye, like our little dog,
who curls up between us each night,
never imagining that one of us could end up beaten
and bedridden, beeps of machines keeping
us alive. And I think of the man at the Pride Festival
last weekend with all the black and white
photographs of men and women who have fallen victim
to hate crimes. Killed for being the Other.
He shouted at us each time we walked by, kept repeating
there is a GLBT murder every 9 days. He said it
with anger. Said, you can’t ignore it, but I did. Kept walking.
Moving away from the faces staring up at me
from their graves. I made myself blame them, think they did
something wrong that I won’t do, which will keep me
alive, keep me from being a face on display meant to haunt
gay boy dreams. The truth is my penis isn’t blue.
I have no tights or cape, only fear, and the knowledge
that no matter what, humanity is set on destroying itself.
Originally published in He Do the Gay Man in Different Voices published by Sibling Rivalry Press, 2012
Stephen S. Mills holds an MFA from Florida State University. His poems have appeared in The Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide, PANK Literary Magazine, The New York Quarterly, The Antioch Review, The Los Angeles Review, Knockout, Ganymede, Poetic Voices Without Borders 2, Assaracus, New Mexico Poetry Review, Mary, and others. He is also the winner of the 2008 Gival Press Oscar Wilde Poetry Award. His first book, He Do the Gay Man in Different Voices, is out from Sibling Rivalry Press. Website: www.stephensmills.com