Gender Issues
—a poem by Brad Bisio

A woman asked
Why do you have
earrings in both your ears?

Feeling charitable that day
I said, Because you’re you
and I’m me.

But you’re a man
she said.

I said
and you’re a woman.
Look at it this way
I said
I have earrings in both ears
for the same reason you have
earrings in both ears.

And why’s that?
she said.

Because we both
want them there.

She still didn’t understand.

I was late for work,
no longer feeling charitable,
and even a little disgusted
with myself. When the light changed
I left her there at the corner
and reminded myself
how I wasn’t going to
waste my time
talking to people
who, no matter what I say,
will never understand me.

Brad Bisio has recent work in Paradigm, Pequin, and Boston Literary Magazine with work forthcoming in Six Sentences, Word Riot and Gutter Eloquence. He has lived in New York and California and places in between. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee.