In the game I played an error— merely a slide—an amusement—in an evening’s topography. But you grew up elsewhere—in a country where children play Snakes, not Chutes, and Ladders. You judge dalliance biblically: tempted, I fell, for you, for the serpent and slithered in sin. I cannot believe, though, the die is cast in stone. I’m heading for the ladder. Let me climb back up to you.
A native New Yorker, James Penha has lived for the past quarter-century in Indonesia. Nominated for Pushcart Prizes in fiction and poetry, his work has lately appeared in several anthologies: The View From Olympia (Half Moon Books, UK), Queers Who Don’t Quit (Queer Pack, EU), What We Talk About It When We Talk About It, (Darkhouse Books), Headcase , (Oxford UP), Lovejets (Squares and Rebels), and What Remains (Gelles-Cole). His essays have appeared in The New York Daily News and The New York Times. Penha edits The New Verse News, an online journal of current-events poetry. Twitter: @JamesPenha