Jerry Rubin

lived next door.

Does that still count?


He was Protestant.

I was Catholic.

We were a hundred sacraments apart.


The kiss was quick, a dry pinched peck.

I didn’t even have time to close my eyes

like the flawless girls in the Saturday movies


Later when I confessed

to my Catholic classmates

there was an audible gasp.


Startlingly, Mary Beth didn’t say:

You KISSED a boy!

She said, you kissed a PROTESANT


as if I had said

I kissed a blind goat

with leprosy.


Jerry grew up and moved away,

I grew weary of Catholic boys, apostles,

Catechism. Catechism.  Catechism.


Maybe that’s why I married a Hindu.

And the first time I kissed my husband-to-be

it was fierce and long and wet


and I thought

Hare Krishna!

Hare Ram!


Gail Ghai

Gail Ghai is a graduate of the University of Alberta and a Fellow in Writing from the University of Pittsburgh. Her poetry has appeared in literary journals including The Malahat Review, Jama, the Yearbook of American Poetry and The Delhi-London Quarterly. Awards include a Pushcart Prize nomination and a Henry C. Frick scholarship for creative teaching. She is the author of three chapbooks of poetry as well as an art/writing poster entitled, “Painted Words. Ghai works as an ESL instructor for the Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton, FL and also serves as the moderator of the Ringling Poets in Sarasota, FL.

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