By Michael Montlack


They say it unabashedly.

Sometimes a twenty-something,
half my size, will lean across the bar
to touch my leg. Hey, Daddy,
he says, can I buy you a beer?

Others in their late thirties
or mid-forties, some even
older than me. And still they
say it. In hushed baby talk.
Or a taunting whisper.
Part plea, part demand.
A bratty whine. Usually
punctuated with a hungry sigh
when I take off my belt.

They don’t want discipline.
Or humiliation. Just someone
bigger, I think. Someone hairier.
Someone who might demonstrate
self-assurance—easily mistaken
for power in the dark
after a couple drinks.

Daddy, don’t, they groan,
aiming their asses at me,
like cannons, thighs already
ajar. Please, Daddy, don’t!

My hard-on keeps me from
giggling. And wondering
how I got here. How they—
in their own self-assurance—
have cast me as their lead,
though clearly at best
I’m a supporting actor.

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MICHAEL MONTLACK is the editor of the Lambda Finalist essay anthology My Diva: 65 Gay Men on the Women Who Inspire Them (University of Wisconsin Press) and author of the poetry collections Cool Limbo (NYQ Books) and Daddy (NYQ Books) and three chapbooks. His poems have appeared in North American Review, The Offing, Hotel Amerika, The Cincinnati Review, Prairie Schooner, and Los Angeles Review. His essays have been in Huffington Post and Advocate.com. He lives in NYC and teaches for CUNY and Gotham Writers Workshop.

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