Friday, July 2, 2010

that boy, unnumbered

What he did was put his hands on my shoulders
while I was reading. Even people who touch me--

My words for what his hands touched go to strength:
to cable, to furrowed trunk, but I mean sheath, mantle,
bark--the outer part, rough, under tension
constantly sloughed, renewed. It was so unexpected
he must have felt it, like it came away in his hands,
it all did. He backed off, asked how I was.
My "Good!" was trumpet-trill-y bright,
forward, unmanageable.

as this refers to "him," so:
other straight boy, slim, not taut, expansive
a slight inverted rural comma
in his esses, curling them to his teeth.

I am, again, hilariously ill-equipped
and so dive in, parsing like a madman
side-splicing narrative into improbability--
"If we were together, whose arm
would go on the shoulder, whose hand
in whose back pocket? What does this mean
in the supermarket, all those arms
and asses, what to look at, what to avoid
looking at? After all, a person is a person; everything else
is just a preoccupation with the shape of flesh.

I'm orbiting at a geosynchronous height of frustration
over reality--my heart a silent stand-in for my cock
my mind an engine of obstacles,
chronic mis-speller of "now" as "later."

He's just standing there
on the way into the kitchen. My forward "Good!"
has navigated the labyrinth of his ears.
I can't tell if he's unsettled.
It would be something behind his eardrum
one of those tiny bones that touch nothing but tiny muscles
its only job is in moments like this one,
to hijack the stream of electrons on the acoustic nerve,
spin decoder wheels to today's combination, say
"behind this vowel, this unnecessary pitch
and buzz is a straight boy's artless, deniable question."

This is too complicated a way
for me to be quiet, but I am

watching his hands
the weightless thing in them
sheath, mantle, bark.

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