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Nomi Stone reads Jenny Johnson's poem, "Gay Marriage Poem"

Nomi Stone:

POEM: Gay Marriage Poem
AUTHOR: Jenny Johnson
BOOK: In Full Velvet
PUBLISHER: Sarabande Books

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I'm Nomi Stone and I'm about to read "Gay Marriage Poem" by Jenny Johnson and this poem was read by Jenny Johnson at my wedding just a week ago to the fiction writer Rose Skelton and I will say also we went down the aisle on roller skates.

Gay Marriage Poem

We could promise to elope
like my grandmother did
if a football team won

on homecoming night.
We could be good queers?
An oxymoron we never

longed for.  We could 
become wed-locked 
as the suffix was once intended:

laiko, Common Teutonic for play,
not loc, Old English for a cave,
an enclosure.  Instead

of a suit, I could wear my T-shirt
that avows, "Support Your Right
to Arm Bears!" Or we could

wed in bear suits
just as I saw people do
one summer in San Francisco

standing amid a grassy median
during rush hour.
They were so personally

anonymously political
blocking the ocean breeze
in acrylic fur.

Forget such solemnities!
I want to run through streets 
shouting up to all my beloveds' windows:

Friends!  In sickness and in health
I refuse to forsake you!
On Charlotte Street, Home,

Euclid, Decatur, Union,
Straubs, Rebecca, Bennett Ave.,
38th, Woolslayer Way.

In the only wedding I was a part of
I was the flower girl
who held up the ceremony

kneeling to drop equal dividends of 
petals beside every pew,
refusing to leave anyone out.

Let us speak without occasion
of relations of our choosing!
Tied intricately

as the warps and wefts
amid mats of moss,
without competing for sunlight

our hairy caps are forever
lodging in spaces
that myopic travelers can't see.

Of such loves unwrit, at the boundary layer
between earth and air,
I feel most clear.