My feelings for men reach out
from the highest parapet
in this oasis of cleansing sin
in the heart of this
Not five times a day
like the muezzin,
not five times but continuously.
The raccoons on my desk pay no attention to the flowers in their saintly makeup standing so desperately near. Flowers and coons train their eyes on my kissable Adam’s apple, shamed by its assuredness, yet proud of their submission. You want me to say this gaze alarms or embarrasses me. You want me to run away or at least to feel in my gut the kick that begins a running away.
I’ve stopped mounting my pictures on walls,
stopped hanging them
by the neck till dead
for the sadism of the crowd, for the purging of justice built on dread.
No more will they be
pilloried or adored
or mistaken for décor
or signs (NO THROUGH ROAD, NO SMOKING, PARKING IN REAR) or posters to lure the young to war as though it were a Lollapalooza. Instead, I’ve placed chairs for these guests of my supposed making — opposite the sofa, next to the bed, at the foot of the stairs, at the kitchen table. We get lost in the excited discussions typical of new lovers, the comfortable silences and quarrels of the long wed, the baffled stares of wild and well-bred men.
Mostly I speak of my failures and they of their successes.