I have trampled catacombs in windy darkness.
I have sodomized anonymous crab-like anuses
against walls in midnight London, New York,
I have tucked my starched sheets carefully
and ordered filet mignon on ruby red
ablecloths, like any other middle-class
I have burned my shins on my Honda exhaust
and scratched lines in dusk
at deserted Pueblo caves.
I have been William Henry Harrison and
Sam Houston for 240,000 tourists
in the Smokies.
My dude, you have married a word-monger,
given your salty nature to a pink man
in a mad feast, to one who resents roller derbies
and marvels that you could have a private life.
Your rich chocolate streaks its own
dry shadows while you sleep in cloud shade.
And I love you, Ernest, I want you,
scrounge to own you,
anticipate your octogenarian erections,
dread my hours away from you
even when you bore me
and I wish you would take a walk.
I love you, Ernest.
You dismiss my nonsense
with a limp wrist gracefully
or with stony literalness
you shrivel me, trivialize me,
turn my conundrums into simple tantrums,
and I hate you, Ernest,
when you will not be my darling boy,
refuse to canonize me.
I could dash to silent strangers
who want only the touching,
make no demands for closeness,
who never request or require forgiveness.
I could hug all who need no hugging
but am afraid of you and me who do.
Your rich chocolate stirs with frowning,
and I know I need you to awaken
because Ive talked myself into fear
and need your loving shadows.
I want your arm grasped with long nails
pinching my side.
I need to come with you, in you,
taste you, drool and slurp you,
because I love you, Ernest,
Spouse, Lover, Mate,
and I want you here when I am asleep,
and I want to be awake for you.
Your rich chocolate mirrors
swirling clouds while you sleep.
|I wrote this 30 years ago as a paean, celebrating the newness of intimacy in the context of a loving, committed relationship. The poem was prompted by my joy in discovering myself mirrored in my spouses black skin as we lay in the sun. In the poem, the beloved never speaks, nor are the words spoken to him, except rhetorically. It is an internal monologue of the speaker. The poem is a bridge of sorts from the impersonal relations of the past into a new and wondrous marriage.”
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