Bill Hollands

Queen for a Day

I’m nobody’s idea of butch,
not especially swishy either –
middle-of-the-road gay, I guess
you could say. But this one day –
I’m twenty, maybe twenty-one,
a bit forlorn with my cascade of hair –
I’m in a pub in England. We probably
should be studying, but the pints
are flowing, the afternoon sun
turns dust to glitter and I begin
to camp it up. Maybe my hands
flutter, my voice lifts, I call the guys
she or Mary – I don’t recall exactly
but you know the drill. Old school.
This one girl, friend of a friend,
she sizes me up quick, says
You know, it suits you. Very British,
right? It suits you. I’m already out –
that isn’t it. It’s something
deeper. Or shallower. As if
who I was, who I am, is just
a suit from Men’s Wearhouse
or Nordstrom Rack. O