Photography © Glenn Bowie
Little Cole adored The Wizard of Oz, and for his birthday one year,
he was gifted Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow, and Lion Barbie dolls.
They were soon replaced with G.I. Joe action figures.
Little Cole wanted to be just like Peter Pan.
He believed if he could muster enough happy thoughts, he might be able
to lift off too.
But ultimately, he blamed his flightless, grounded bones on a lack of fairy dust.
Little Cole was taken on hunting trips.
The animals he saw were magnificent, but eventually became riddled
with cold steel bullets.
He pictured himself as a photographer shooting the land instead of the furry creatures.
Little Cole put on his mother’s clothes once or twice before it was deemed off limits.
He felt great, he felt alive, he felt he was someone he’d never met before.
Little Cole in college supposed it was a revelation the first time he saw drag.
He was living through those queens, like they were in touch with the secrets
of the universe.
Little Cole saw a beautiful stranger when he finally summoned the courage
to wear makeup.
He realized that with just a bit of mascara, lipstick, nail polish, and maybe
a bit of jewelry,
you could fashion yourself a brand new boy in a matter of minutes.
Little Cole now feels he may be a cactus flower that will only blossom at night.
His thorns soften and his petals open when no one’s watching.
At least these days, he knows who he really is at heart.
Nicholas Barnes earned a Bachelor of Arts in English at Southern Oregon University. He is currently working as an editor in Portland, and enjoys music, museums, movie theaters, and rain. His least favorite season is summer. His favorite soda is RC Cola.
Glenn Bowie is a published poet, lyricist and photographer from the Boston area. He also owns and operates an elevator company that supplies custom-built elevators for clients from New England to Hollywood. Author of two poetry and photograph collections (Under the Weight of Whispers and Into the Thorns and Honey) on Big Table Publishing, he donates all profits from his books to various charities for the homeless and local animal shelters.