Introibo ad altare Dei.
Ad Deum que laetificat juvetutem meam.
We’d ask Father Logue how far
up her skirt our fingers could crawl.
We’d ask him if French kissing was a sin and
to which base we could safely go?
We asked Fr. Logue these questions
in his Marriage Class at Saint Mary’s High
in 1968. We tried to get him to say words
we weren’t allowed to say in religion class.
We loved to watch sweat-beads
form on his forehead as this good man
struggled, not with our questions, but
with his impulse to bean his questioners.
His response was forthright, unwavering:
“You will never respect yourself
unless you respect the person you’re with.
A woman is not a plaything, a toy
for your enjoyment. There are places
you won’t go because dignity prevents you,
and, of course, if she says ‘no’ you stop
because she is a child of God, just like you.”
We never asked the good Father whether
we could hold a girl down against her will
or whether Jesus would look away should we
cup a hand over her mouth so she couldn’t scream.
We never inquired about the sin potential
of grabbing a girl’s blouse and pulling it off,
or straddling her so she couldn’t pull away
from our grasp. We were, many of us,
intellectual oafs, but we knew what the word
“respect” meant. We wanted sex, lots of it,
but only on the altar of consent where
the jouissance and the mire were mutual.