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1 poem

by Jayson Keery

Jayson Keery is a writer, editor and organizer who lives in Western Massachusetts where they are completing their MFA in poetry at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. They are the managing editor of Cosmonauts Avenue and the former assistant managing editor of jubilat. They host the Majestic Queer Lit Club reading series and the HUT reading series in Northampton. Their work has appeared in Metatron Press, b l u s h, Peach Mag, and Girls Like Us, and has been anthologized in Pilot Press London’s A Queer Anthology of Rage and Nightboat Books' We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics. They received an honorable mention for the 2019 Deborah Slosberg Memorial Award, judged by Diana Khoi Nguyen.

Just Gay  /gā/ 


(of a person)


homosexual (used especially of a man)

"the city's gay and lesbian people"*


the city’s gay and lesbian people out

on a stroll through the gay and lesbian park



relating to or used by homosexuals

“a gay bar” how rude

they do more than just drink like

they drink in a park like

a breath of fresh rights



warning this is [dated]

to be lighthearted and carefree

“had a gay disposition and a very pretty face”


boys are cats and girls are dogs

wag their tails on the promenade

on their dates in the park they are dating

each other the men and the women

it is evening it grows dark


the moon rises

sparkling as white as gender* how

beautiful for the men and the women to

behold each other’s outfits



bright and brilliant

they are showy like a “gay

profusion of purple

and pink sweet peas”

in the moonlit gardens

they are nice in their outfits

which are purple and pink



warning [informal] [offensive]


a figure alone is skating through the pond

the season is spring the fashion is the

terrifying neutral of trenchcoat seeping

a miasma of dark glitter dust

almost the same dust celine dion used

to rob babies of gender dousing them

with black and white clothes*

“making students wait for the light is

kind of a gay rule”



the figure erupts in the park revealing their

white-gold or blue-black dress distracting the gays

as they conjure up a miniature stage

they announce


“it is I

I am gay like stupid

I am gay like queer

I am queer like explicitly not gay

I am they like ‘excuse me did

someone forget their wallet?’

ladies and gentlemen it’s literally that easy

gather ‘round”


the gays are confused they

don’t like this outfit this gay from

another dimension

definition who’s now

pulling puppets out of their pants




you love someone and you're gay

you love someone and you're gay and

one day they say I'm using they them and


do you not love them anymore?”

two puppets twirl on the stage

they are magic the

men see men the women women




you love someone and were gay and

now they are a they and you're okay with that but

they start to wear different clothes”


one of the puppets exits stage left enters

stage right a new cut a shade of polish

a soft boot a faggy thong whale tails it

across the stage a small dildo poking

out of its pocket


“do you not love them anymore?




you love someone and they have different clothes

now they start HRT and

slight boobs small penises or whatever and


do you?”*


it’s bedtime for the gays




a cis man once said at me

“it's okay to just be gay”

to just be

as in just a

simple state of being

gay am I

can I


just be?


he didn’t know

the only thing he could

possibly be saying was he’d

never be attracted

to a trans person

to me


(or did he?)


straight is the opposite of gay

somehow that’s that but


it’s mathematically impossible

for me to have

straight sex

try it

try the math but


it’s okay to just be gay

I want to hear you say it

park it in its truth

say you’re not queer to me

say you’ll never fuck me tell me


whisper it

into my ear

my ass

tell me why it feels

so very different

to you

in there

tell me back


it’s okay to just be

(of a person)


it’s just okay




*example phrases quoted from the gay poet who interns at the Oxford Dictionary.

*suggested reading on how western concepts of gender are constructed around whiteness: Black On Both Sides, by C. Riley Snorton.

*check out to buy kids’ genderless clothes as if other clothes have gender (the commercial is worth the watch).

*this theater only addresses the possibility of working towards loving/ finding romantic and or sexual attraction towards someone assigned the same sex at birth.  the work does not stop there...

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