Academic journal article Women's Studies Quarterly

Dis/chord: Nuclear Disfunction in Diminished 4ths

Academic journal article Women's Studies Quarterly

Dis/chord: Nuclear Disfunction in Diminished 4ths

Article excerpt

1. ( ) of July

Somewhere in Indiana my parents are grilling hamburgers and hot dogs. I don't need to call them to know this. They're in their backyard, just over an acre of trim grass. The Midwestern heat is a rough beast, its gaze blank and pitiless as the sun.

My parents are drinking vodka martinis with three olives each. I know exactly the intonation in my father's voice as he asks, You want onions on that dog? I heard it every summer for eighteen years.

My parents married right out of college. Six years later one girl and twoand-a-half years after that they had one boy.

2. ( ) Dimension

I share a bed with two women. Occasionally more. I've stopped counting my tattoos. People call me sir as often as ma'am. I live in a room in the city. I spend days writing poems and nights at the cabaret. I'm thirty-one. My parents do not understand my life.

My brother married a woman right out of college. It's six years later and they just had their first baby. A girl. My parents understand.

I could have married a man right out of college. There was no temporal pivot, no eureka when everything became clear and I rej ected their straight and narrow for my queer and wide-open. An infinite number of invisible choices carried me this far away from my family.

3. ( ) Wall

My father is two-and-a-half years younger than his sister. They lost his father when my father was eighteen. My father has wanted to recreate the perfect family he feels like he lost ever since.

When my father married my mother, he told her they would have one girl and then one boy. When my mother saw my brother was a boy she cried because she knew that meant she couldn't have any more children. …

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