Ask a Librarian
Is Mr. S. gay? Is Ms. G., you know—?
I have the answers I probably shouldn’t tell.
“My job’s information, not gossip,” I crow.
Never my style to sustain the status quo,
I could dish the dirt on the school’s personnel.
Is Coach B. gay? Is Coach R.? You know,
I don’t want to cause closeted colleagues woe,
yet how can I lie to my students? Hell,
my job’s information—including gossip. So I crow:
Mr. M. met his muy guapo boyfriend en Méjico.
Ms. C. met her woman at a lesbian rally at Cornell.
Could Mr. S. be any gayer? Coach R.? You know
that Ms. G. used to be married, but—hello!—
that ended when she met la belle Emmanuelle.
“My job’s information and gossip,” I crow.
Should I be outing these gay deceivers? Oh,
I can take the flak for being “unprofessional.”
Is Coach B. gay? Is Ms. G.? C’mon, you know.
My job’s just confirmation. Let’s gossip, let’s crow!
You are gone, your aftershave packed
among the long-sleeved olive- and lilac-colored turtlenecks
worn under sweaters to keep your chest warm,
as if Nebraska is as cold as the Arctic tundra.
Thermal socks, insulated shoes, and even a red-union suit in your bags,
though I read that Omaha would be in the 50’s today.
I know you don’t like to be cold.
With a muffler and fleece-lined gloves, you shouldn’t be.
I wish it were cooler here, not near ninety.
The cats are listless as newspaper, or maybe they just miss you.
It’s hard to be hairy in this Texas humidity.
You’re probably already wearing a hooded sweatshirt, a second pair of socks,
and that Navy blue woolen cap that smells like Alberto VO5—
and that’s your indoor “ensemble,” (two syllables, gestured “air quotes”).
Are you feeling as though a lobe of your lungs is gone?
Me too, and I never thought I’d miss anything lilac.
SCOTT WIGGERMAN is the author of two books of poetry, Presence and Vegetables and Other Relationships. He is also the editor of several volumes, including Wingbeats: Exercises and Practice in Poetry. He recently received his third Pushcart nomination. He is chief editor for Dos Gatos Press in Austin, Texas, publisher of the Texas Poetry Calendar, now in its sixteenth year.