My first time,
we were both asleep on the floor
that you had covered with blankets and comforters
to ward off the cold from the cement.
There were thirteen beer bottles,
which is nothing compared to
what I can drink today.
but back then,
our fifteen year old bodies could only take so much
of a bitter drink that would later on
become my only consolation
as I look back on you
and myself.


In the province,
The air is sweet and cool at night
Brushing aside the acrid smell of
The cigarettes that we smoked.
You slept naked beside me,
The sheets bunched up around your thighs
And around your arms,
Leaving your stomach exposed,
The light just enough to show off
The trail to a forest that hid in your briefs.


A love affair of the wrong kind – because,
Was there any other kind? –
Took place that night
As I pushed my arms closer to yours,
Comforted that I could later on say
It was sleep.
And when you did not budge,
I squirmed and moved my body closer to you,
Grunting and sighing as a little boy does in his sleep.
but though I was far from asleep
I was dreaming,
Of how your cool, soft flesh
Would feel if I put a little more pressure
A little more love.
And with whatever false courage
That alcohol brings
I placed my fingers on your stomach
And as you continued in your stillness
I dared to move it further down
Through the thickets of cloth, skin, and hair
In between your legs and body.
I had already prepared the disgust
That my face would register
If you happen to wake up,
As I feign surprise
At finding my fingers where I placed them.
but all you did
as I continued to caress your growing and thickening self
was face me
in your sleep,
eyes closed
but wide aware.
And when you could grown no longer and thicker,
You removed my hands,
And pushed my head down
Slowly, letting my hair caress
Yours neck, your chest, your belly
Until finally, the reward
of caressing my lips
With the strands of rough hair
That grew down below.
My teeth hid themselves in between lips and tongue
As I found you inside me
And the pulsating warmth
That kept exploring my mouth
Was all that kept me silent
As you breathed raggedly in and raggedly out.
Under the pretense of sleep
There is no need to warn me
That you had come.
Under the pretense of sleep,
All I could do was let you drip
Off the sides of my lips,
Until your forest canopy
Was smothered in pearly rains,
Thick like honey,
Salty like the sea.


And you pushed my head away,
Turned on your back, and went back to sleep,
Without ever having opened your eyes.


And this is where I knew
what it means to be gay,
Which is to say,
What it means to be alone.
I went to the bathroom
And stroked myself
While smelling my fingers
That smelled of you.
And when I came,
You kissed me in the only place
Where you could:
My imagination.


And in the silence that we used
To cover up our nocturnal liaisons,
My first time
Was reduced to a myth
That reduced the both of us
To strangers.

Closing Time

The most painful hour
is when the bar man switches the fluorescent bulbs on
in the bar room where,
four seconds ago,
a honey-tasting, sweet-skin-scented glaze
of fantasy and glamour covered the
the dance floor, the bar top,
the beer mugs, and wine cups.


Four minutes ago,
Angelo was an angel floating in the dance floor
In clouds of smoke and love.
Four hours ago,
Hope was glittering from
The queens’ tiaras that mingled with the
Silver buckles on the men’s cowboy belts.


But with the flick of the switch
And the flood of cold, cold
Tungsten blue light
From hot and heartless fluorescent tubes,
The fantasy washes off
From the dance floor to the bar room.
The hall empties out until all that remains are
The faces of the few remaining queens
Who are nursing drunken jail bait and cattle-less cowboys
With a feminine devotion
That is more maternal than sexual,
An arousal that comes
Not from the bulging jeans
But their own bulging hearts
That have long ago learned
That the only love they can have
Is that which they can give
For free.


With the flick of a switch,
The hope glittering from tiaras and scruffy heels
Drip down and flow up
Into moistened eyes
Of women-hearted men
Who only know love
From the grateful grunts
Of men who lap up the tomato juice mixes
That hold promise of enough lucidity
To get them back home.
With the flick of a switch,
The only angel that dances on the ash-splattered floor
is your recreation of Angelos
who can look at your heart
more than they can look at your overly large hands,
your wiry, shaved legs,
and your sock-stuffed brassiere.


And why the hour is painful
Is because the flick of a switch
That signals closing time
Is the close of a fantasy
Where a queen is a princess
And a common man the knight,
The close of a fantasy
Where the dregs find princesses
And the drag queens their knight.

Around the Corner

What hurts me most
Is when you tell me
That he is right around the corner
Just waiting for me
The way I had waited for him.


What doesn’t hurt you at all
Is when I tell you
That I am not even hiding in a corner
While waiting for you
And you just shrug
And tell me that
Someone can love me
When you yourself cannot.


I take my pencil and draw the rough outlines of your form
Each morning
My wrist has already learned about how the pencil should curve
As it recreates your head, your shoulders, the small of your back, and your feet.
My fingers have already learned about the pressure that your eyes require in order to get
The darkest shade of black
Or that your lips require to get the lightest shade of monochromed pink.
I already know all of the lines in your palms
When your hands are outstretched,
When they are balled into fists
Or draped lazily on your side.
But I take my pencil and draw the rough outlines of your form
Each morning,
Because through my fingers
I can recreate your hand so that it touches mine,
Your lips that will be willing to talk,
And eyes that will look at, and not past, me.
And as I take my pencil each morning,
The shades that I fill in
Fill in the gap
Between us.


Do not wait for my arrival,
Do not bear expectations
Of explanations and excuses.
I know the time and place
Where we planned to meet,
But I will not come
The more I disappoint you
The lesser the burden
That you will need to bear
When we ponder on why we failed.