I Remember You Were Made of Dark, Warm Wood
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Blowjob in a Car Wash
Eating peaches over the kitchen sink,
a second mouth opens beneath my chin
to catch the juice that trickles off.
Deep in machine-assisted sleep I dream
of farewell banquets in carpeted ballrooms,
the silverware twinkling in projector-light.
This too will pass, like carside-window grass,
as if a reel of film sped up,
unwinding on a loop of desert waste.
Sifting through the strata of a drawer
I find a pen printed with the name
of the hospital where I was born.
Now, by twisted strands of fate rejoined,
I stoop to lance a fallen grape
that has rolled beneath the oven.
I can read the hour from the street corner
with the stop sign as my gnomon.
Its shadow is taut as a kite string,
arcing in the gale of light.
Lifting my eyes to the horizon,
this Illinois sunset flattens me.
Embracing you, I descend into a cellar.
My vision softens in the darkness.
And I can only see the halo of your head,
and feel the schema of your limbs.
You become the idea of yourself.
If I could, I’d live in endless six p.m.,
the sun’s position fixed at the horizon.
Only in this hour can I see you clearly,
before the veil of night lowers between us,
and I no longer know you,
although I knew you once.
Tonight I’m lonesome enough to write a letter
addressed to a Florida key. I bend my thumb
to squeeze the silver from a silverfish,
and in its ink I fix my signature.
Branches reach toward my window to take my hand,
but I am inconsolable. I stomp down
the stairs like playing “Chopsticks” with my feet.
I remember you were made of dark, warm wood—
or do I still?
At least I feel a warmth and see a darkness.
We cut our hair alike and walked the streets
as if our limbs were bound together, chained
like galley slaves on the Aegean sea.
It’s true that I remember less well than you,
and so I remember it better, even good;
in the dimness of my memory you gleam,
receding to a single point of light.