My Ray

My nearest, my queerest,
my conjugal dearest,
my closest, my mostest,
what shall I call you?

My lavender gayspeak,
queerspeak and queenspeak,
lost lambda pipsqueak,
your name preference, please?

My love, my dove,
my heaven above,
my who I want more of,
what, what, what?

Mon amour, mi amigo,
spouse in my house,
muse who I choose,
q’est-ce que c’est le bon mot?

My Ray of hope,
my missing mishpochah,
my saving grace,
a bissel hint-hint?

Significant other,
this one, not another,
my own homo lover,
onomastically who?

Woman plus woman,
man plus man,
an accepted plan,
I pronounce you, nu?

Will you maray me?
Darling, what did you say?
The word is maray.
Will you be my ray?

ray [rā]
-noun - the affectionate, legal, and religious term
for the spouse or partner of a gay or lesbian person.

maray [ma-RĀ]
-verb - to join as spouses or to take as a spouse,
in the marriage of a gay or lesbian person.

The neologisms ray and maray are derived from
“My Ray,” the name Lillian Faderman gave to her
courageous and devoted aunt. As a new term for
gay and lesbian partners, “my ray” honors Lillian
Faderman’s tremendous courage and devotion to
gays and lesbians. Marae means “sacred place”
in Polynesia. At the marae, culture is celebrated,
customs are explored and debated, and weddings
and birthdays are held.

- Mary Meriam
Chiron Review, December 2008
Panzee Press, February 2009
Street Spirit, March 2009
StumbleUpon, June 2009
Windy City Times Pride Literary Supplement, June 2009
Lesbian Quarterly, October 2010
Here Come the Brides! Reflections on Lesbian Love and MarriageMarch 2012