I knew when I thought it might be a short piece
that you might say, “I don’t do no short pieces”
but then I’d have to remind you
just cause you big and pretty
don’t give you the right to discriminate.
Big and so damn pretty.
Smile that sly smile
just once more
so I can go home
and remember it.
That’s what I be missin baby
That’s what I be missin.

© Bil Wright 2017

Bil Wright
Bil Wright

Bil Wright is a novelist and playwright. His is the author of Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy (Lambda Literary Award and American Library Association Stonewall Book Award), When the Black Girl Sings (Junior Library Guild selection), and Sunday You Learn How to Box (New York Public Library Choice for Young Readers and Coretta King Celebrating the Dream List). His plays include Bloodsummer Rituals, based on the life of poet Audre Lorde (Jerome Fellowship), and Leave Me a Message (San Diego Human Rights Festival premiere). He is the Librettist for This One Girl’s Story (GLAAD Media Award nominee and La Mama Playwriting Award).

octogenarians — for bert

A 1995 Chriskwanzaka gift from partner John!

  1. “widows overnight” refers to three people who lost husbands that year: John and Bert’s friend René Astudillo (Daniel Scott Strano), Olympic figure skater Ekaterina Gordeeva (Sergei Grinkov), and actress Candice Bergen (Louis Malle), who played the title character on Murphy Brown, a favorite television series of Bert and John.
  2. The “30-something-brother” is artist Ronald Harris, for whom Bert wrote Dew Locks.
  3. “Donald” is Bert’s friend, writer and poet Donald Walter Woods.