On Being Born the Same Exact Day of the Same Exact Year as Boy George

Denise Duhamel

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, sickening and 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 at 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? Boy, 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. There has been,

but I can set it straight.



Headshot | Denise Duhamel


DENISE DUHAMEL’s most recent books of poetry are Second Story (Pittsburgh, 2021) and Scald (2017). Blowout (2013) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She is a distinguished university professor in the MFA program at Florida International University in Miami.

Denise appears in the Spring 2023 issue of NAR (308.1), which can be accessed here. To view more poems by Denise, visit her website.