Closet
by Charles Rammelkamp


“Think Lou Rosenfeld was gay?”
I asked Alan over drinks.
Thirty years after
my first job out of college,
editorial assistant at a state agency,
it dawned on me my boss
may have been homosexual.
He’d be over seventy now,
if he still lived.

Teddy Hankin, though,
would surely be dead by now –
Lou’s surrogate Jewish father at work
pushing at least sixty the day
he asked Lou why he wasn't married.
Lou blushed, boasted of “liaisons,”
changed the subject.

“Does it matter?” Alan snapped,
his impatience a guard dog on a leash.
His first job after college, too;
he’d left the agency before me,
escaping to law school
a year before I went back home
to care for my dad.

“No, of course it doesn’t,”
I conceded, remembering
my father’s refusal to die
until he’d seen me married to Theresa,
six years after I came home.






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