“In Parc Monceau”: A Pride Month Poem

Greetings from Justicea! 

As regular readers of this blog know, Justicea is my vision of an imaginary society in which “Justice for All” is a fait accompli. Unfortunately, many real world countries lag far behind Justicea in meting out justice to wenns, people of color, the poor, and members of the Alphabet Communities (i.e., LGBTQIA folks.)

I am a person on the transgender spectrum — a ren, as I would be called in Justicea (and like to be called in the real world, too!)– who grew up in a United States that was not and, in many ways, still is not accepting of the Alphabet Communities — especially people on the transgender spectrum. I looked and still look femele but, most of the time, I thought and still think male. I was actually gender-gifted all along, but I grew up at a time when identities on the Transgender Spectrum were not often discussed — at least, not by the general public. As a result, I was an adult for long years before I sorted out how my gender identity and sexuality worked together to reveal my authentic self.

“In Parc Monceau” is a poem about an actual experience I had while taking a college course in Paris, France, decades ago. There was a young wenn in the class originally from Central America. We would meet for dinner on the Champs Élysées and spend hours going over our class notes. She had eyes of flint and long black hair, and I was head-over-heels infatuated with her but never told her.

Without further ado, this week’s poem:

Poem:  “In Parc Monceau

Before the bridge in Parc Monceau
where the stone steps warp with the weight
of a thousand lovers’ passings,
I loved you in the pallor of cowardice
and would not allow myself to cross.

On the edge of the lake in Parc Monceau
where a brace of stalwart columns arc
to embrace the placid banks beneath,
I loved you in the cunning of deception
and claimed no more than friendship’s due.

On the alchemist paths in Parc Monceau
where many of foreign birth transform
into amorous Parisians as they stroll,
I loved you from within a form unchanging,
and my body remained a foreigner to my soul.

Recalling these memories of Parc Monceau
from decades away and three thousand miles,
I wonder what might have passed between us
had I crossed that bridge and claimed a lover’s due?
Had I embraced you with my stalwart yearnings?
Had you looked beyond my form unchanging?—
If all that was were not, and all that was hopeless, true?

Yet so encompassing this muted passion
that it has sustained me through these many years,
for I have been possessed of the sweetest ache
since last I walked with you in deceitful silence
before the bridge in Parc Monceau.

© Justin DeForest 2006
(Male Gender Identify of Justy DeForest)

Next Wednesday’s Poem Share 2

Worldwide Pride

In next Wednesday’s Poem Share 2: “The Wennequin and the Ghost,” I will explore more deeply the gender identity dysphoria that I sometimes feel when I am in my male gender.

Until then…

Justy DeForest,
GFJ Blogger


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