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64| Defaced

Mario DiGangi


We plundered your house
Of lofty roosters in ceramic,
Stately old brass lamps,

Careful photos of an unknown friend,
Richly patterned blazers from another time,
Outworn, defaced of their pride.

Days before, when your hours were few,
Your ruined grip beneath white sheets
Had seized my father’s hand.

Now he searched out what remained.
Advantaged with mischief,
He eased out the weighty bedside drawer.

“Look,” he said. “Your uncle
Had a wild side.
Just don’t let your mother see.”

Memorials of buried aches,
Of flesh possessed, or only dreamt
Behind white suburban shades.

Mario DiGangi is Professor of English at the City University of New York. His books include Sexual Types: Embodiment, Agency, and Dramatic Character from Shakespeare to Shirley (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011) and The Homoerotics of Early Modern Drama (Cambridge University Press, 1997).

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