Your Rich Chocolate
Louie Crew

Your rich chocolate forehead
        mirrors swirling clouds
while you sleep.
        My man, you have married
a selfish tongue-maiden,
        a disciple of his own illusions:

        I have trampled catacombs in windy darkness.
        I have sodomized anonymous crab-like anuses
        against walls in midnight London, New York,
        and Tuscaloosa.
        I have tucked my starched sheets carefully
        and ordered filet mignon on ruby red
        ablecloths, like any other middle-class
        old bachelor.
        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 I’ve 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,
        inside me,
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 spouse’s 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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