Poema Pueri Tempidi [Part I]


around the corner we shall come again
to watch the puddles crowd the streets
while we wait for summer rains to begin
to wash the dirt and oil from our feet:

my necktie tied too tight for my throat—
i gag and rub my neck to try and ease
the choking line, the ending coughing note
with which those bony fingers shall reprieve.

my shoes are shined, stomping wryly on the cracks
where grasses creep their way into the sky
and rest and wait to heal on soiled backs
as i dream to keep my hand between those thighs;

instead they rest within my pocket’s lining.
my jacket’s pressing up against my skin
and my hair is humid; it’s undenying
to wonder where the sweat flows on my skin.

the sun sits so pretty on the coastline of the land
and this table is set with such pristine:
a glass of wine engulfed inside your hand,
a porter sings a drunken song with me.

a light spring dress: a little late to have a go
but once again your legs startle even my bones.
we cut our steaks, the sizzling still so quiet,
reminding us that we are not alone—

this party hall, the place where men can meet
the women they seduce inside their heads
becomes the place where women feel discreet
as men imagine them fleeing from their crowded beds.

you and i, alone across the table still,
the chaffing from my collar my plunder,
i look around, stroke my face with stunning will
then keep my eyes awake, simply looking under

the table at the marks upon a treason:
stigmata on my hands to keep me alive
to taste persimmons out of season
which come about in blushing ocean tides

with cunning smiles: streaks across the room
that make my fingers curl and reap my flesh:
a chance to save myself from itching doom
and ease my muscles, smooth and stretched.

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