To a Stranger
Taylor Mac, ALL ARTS artist in residence, performs Walt Whitman's "To a Stranger” in glamorous drag costume and makeup inspired by the woodland surroundings of the Lower Hudson Valley.
Man: Passing stranger!
You do not know how longingly I look upon you.
You must be he I was seeking, or she I was seeking --
it comes to me as of a dream --
I somewhere surely have lived a life of joy with you.
All is recall'd as we flit by each other,
fluid, affectionate, chaste, matured.
You grew up with me,
were a boy with me or a girl with me,
I ate with you and slept with you,
your body has become not yours only nor left my body mine only.
You gift me the pleasure of your eyes, face, flesh.
As we pass, you take of my beard, breast,
my hands in return.
I am not to speak to you.
I am to think of you when I sit alone or wake at night alone.
I am to wait.
I do not doubt I shall meet you again.
I am to see to it that I do not lose you.
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- WordsTaylor Mac explores Walt Whitman’s queer identity in new filmApril 02, 2021