Denise Duhamel

(1961 / Woonsocket, Rhode Island)

On Being Born The Same Exact Day Of The Same Exact Year As Boy George


We must have clamored for the same mother, hurried for
the same womb.
I know it now as I read that my birthday is his.
Since the first time I saw his picture, I sensed something—
and with a fierce bonding and animosity
began following his career.

Look where I am and look where he is!
There is a book documenting his every haircut
while all my image-building attempts go unnoticed, even
by my friends.
I'm too wimpy to just dye my curls red
or get them straightened. I, sickeningly moral,

talked about chemicals when I should have been
hanging out with George's pal, Marilyn.
He would have set me right:
Stop your whining and put on this feather tuxedo. Look,
do you want to be famous or not?

In the latest articles, Boy George is claiming he's not
really happy. Hmm, I think, just like me.
When he comes to New York and stays in hotels in
Gramercy Park
maybe he feels a pull to the Lower East Side,
wanders towards places where I am, but not knowing me,
doesn't know why.

One interviewer asks if he wishes he were a woman.
Aha! I read on with passion: and a poet?—I bet you'd like
that—
You wouldn't have to sing anymore, do those tiring tours.
George, we could switch. You could come live at my place,
have some privacy, regain your sense of self.

So I begin my letter. Dear Boy George,
Do you ever sit and wonder what's gone wrong?
If there's been some initial mistake?
Well, don't be alarmed, but there
has been.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003
Edited: Friday, December 23, 2011

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