Twenty-five years of celebrating Pride:

In Pensacola, rainbow kites on the beach,

the white-trunked young man whose name I missed,

but whose image the sun burned into my brain.

Joy, but then the deal with nails and tires;

for every up an equal and opposite down.


OKC with Boys One and Two:

the one who would drop me quickly and rightly,

the other, for whom “it’s complicated” would be

the understatement of two centuries.

But there were drinks and drugs and kisses and hugs,

awkward talks, weird sex, and messy break-ups.


Then in Tulsa, Brookside and Cherry Street,

Mohawk and Veterans Parks, dancing in clubs,

but also protesters and shouted offensive remarks;

now East Village, where the party’s taken hold.

Once there were hordes of pickets along the route,

whereas today one sad man held a sign.


I’ve gone alone, with a partner, and in groups,

had good times and some that weren’t so gr

and I’m not the nostalgic type, but still I miss

past faces that I no longer see–

grown old, moved away, or just lost interest;

a few have died, but most are just too busy.


But anyway it’s mostly for the kids,

and it’s good to see them parade their colours

more openly than we would ever have dared.

So politics is shit and hate still rumbles,

but the rainbow flags are flying high,

and A and B are not your only choices.


Copyright 2018

T. Allen Culpepper



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