From "Pink Umbrellas"
the older. shorter man. loves the other man. a love that looks like pain. gives up to the younger. taller one.
relocates into need. vulnerability.
they rarely touch two days standing.
i feel a fear spread over the house. dotting every object in antlike inspection.
he returns to his life as lived. disperses across the city.
familiarity breeding its own kind of blindness.
he thinks he may have made a mistake. may have to leave again. go back.
you return to the book. reread the same sentence over and over again. until it makes no sense. whatsoever.
this is our first summer together. forever. finally.
wrapped up as he must be. the younger. taller man erases a sense of their pleasure.
we drink two bottles of wine. red.
tonight i lay in bed. the fan cooling sweat. wait for him to turn over. to charge my body with his touch.
instead. in the dark. i see shadowed angel wings on his back. trace them with my eyes.
afraid my touch might wake you. bother you.
he loves you more deeply than he ought to. replays fairytales. common stories. a bride and groom.
imagine another way. to be what you want. need.
all your friends expect me to leave soon. suddenly gone. like before.
flies cluster around an unknown pleasure.
i believe my body will give out before yours.
the woman sits in her car. stares across the street. resigned to being unable to escape.
he checks his arm for a pulse.
humidity blankets everyone in failure. despair.
you say you’re waiting for a cheeseburger. laughter peels around your blue bicycle eyes.
to want is to be a guest in anothers house. with nowhere to escape.
perhaps he simply accepts their being together forever. finally.
i return to bed. find it stripped of sheets. of a possible morning pleasure.
one writes to escape life. certitude.
you take in the missing like an old lover. returned.
what nakedness this way comes.
he is gone. not forever. although it can be. feels final.
a lost sunset.
they. the two men. prepare a party favor purple. gold.
he. the shorter. older one. subsumes panic behind an expressionless face. blank eyes.
the other man. tall and younger. visits family in another state. and of affairs.
resemble the photograph of two men. sit
over menus. smile.
you distort words into a forgiving proximity.
adjust for red eye.
i pour coffee. eat a scone.
the woman stops. stares across the street.
the angry old bald man throws curses hard against her side window. over nothing so much as heat and humidity.
already he feels the headache march toward surface.
and laundry dries.
there is a wedding mask. african fertility. in window sunlight.
you tune your body. enter the morning as if for a first time. habitual. lure.
this their first summer together. forever. finally.
though now. already. apart.
words display a day onto flat white.
history is a long lesson to learn. too long. those events so small they only lead as transition into real life. to remember. recall.
by the time you get to the final pages. little in the beginning remains unforgotten.
to repeat appeals to our strangest need.
good. then i may let you go. finally.
my sister dies as an infant. none of us can have foreseen this.
the other man. shorter. showers and wonders at how rapid his hair grows.
in one of his photographs. the two men smile. sit over menus. boats and water in the background.
the shorter. older man sits in the foreground.
not unlike a nervous tic. the woman pushes the button to lock her doors. stares across the street. to escape.
this is their first summer together. finally. forever.
the old bald man wastes language. smashes words against the cars side window.
he marvels as he touches his round stomach. how the hair feels like rough fabric.
at thirty-six my sisters heart explodes. to escape becomes her only excuse.
when he touches me. i swallow hard. listen as our breaths deepen.
i close my eyes. yet all i retain are stars against a dark pillow sky.
some paper is not meant to be written on. some journals run out of words even before half way.
you marvel at the sound of an off key tune. spin in concentric circles. your dark hair lightly brushing the air.
the older. shorter man warrants consideration. appears to be immersed in mind fog.
all the while the younger. taller one stands
alone on top of a slight hill. looks out on the
city lights. imagines difference.
you stand still. listen as an old bald man bats
angry words against the cars side window.
in one of the photographs. blue nail polish ripples in sunlight.
in another poorly shaved legs pose toward the opposite corner.
a shadow rises on the left thigh. just enough to possibly satiate hunger.
standing atop the building i can see faintly two bridges in the distance. near the edge of the states boundary.
when you speak to me about the world. i remain an outsider. to but have done it all differently.
he teases my skin with his long. beautiful fingers. his nails leaving indentations.
at such time. it is impossible to imagine an otherwise. difference.
what to call a relationship elongated by absence.
this their first summer together. forever.
although emptiness dulls the waiting upon a return. impossible to believe. all the while stars break briefly through the darkness and haze.