My Sister Doesn’t Remember

by | Oct 11, 2022 | Issue Twenty Nine, Poetry

That scary dude we saw at the Safeway after the clubs closed.
No, but I remember dancing at that lesbian club, she says.
It was our 23rd birthday! My first visit to San Francisco.

But nothing rings a bell about that dude on the checkout line.
No, she says. I do remember the hunk behind the deli counter.
I remember flirting with him. I was trying to teach you how.

And she doesn’t remember the twink couple at the checkout.
The ones that scary dude snarled at when he cut them in line.
What’re you gonna do? He slapped his items on the conveyer.
Quit staring, little f*ggots! Or I’ll shove his head up your @ss.

My sister doesn’t remember how one twink pulled the other
back from the line, so the scary dude could push past them.
She doesn’t remember pushing me aside to get even closer
to the scary dude. And doesn’t remember saying, Hey, a**hole!
I did? she says. Ya sure? I wasn’t even drinking in those days.
But she knows these are the kinds of things I remember.
How she glared. How startled he looked, considering her.
How she leaned in further, inches from his reddening face.
How she growled, What kind of a**hole comes to the Castro
to say sh*t like that? What’s wrong with you—you stupid?

She doesn’t remember how he stuttered, Well, uh, uh …
before charging through the electric doors without his items.
And doesn’t remember the twinks batting their eyes at her,
one telling the other, Love her! She’s like Wonder Woman.
No, she just doesn’t remember. Hey, you’re the writer,
she says. So I’ll trust you. Though I’ll never forget
that deli hunk. How he winked, handing me my sub,
whispering, “Potato salad’s on the house, beautiful.”

Pin It on Pinterest