Issue 150, Spring 1999
If I had known I’d reduce you to this,
I would’ve stopped myself along the way
to see the shape your shoulders took—
surrender’s concave face—when I came close,
taking me in, you lovely man, and all
the while I thought you in control: your girth
and laugh made me forget; the tone you’d take
as if the world spun in your palm, turned on
your breath. Sometimes I held my own to catch
the feel of your exhale against my wrist.
You slew a lion with your fists.
Your name became the cleanest word for death,
each letter forged by bees and carrion—
my own name means flirtatious, did you know
this when I pouted, when I wound you tight
with sinews which you’d said would take your strength?
Couldn’t you guess, waking bound, that I
meant you all harm? I thought you knew,