The woman in
the window an artist and poet
calling back phantoms and witches.
Bottle-green saints and castles gather
the light in the room and in her
needlepoint window seat, a palette,
captures leaves at her feet. She
low back anguish. In darkness an altar,
vision: a mouse.
All the force
between she and satyr
an angel on her crewel finger.
I am a
child locked out of your forlorn house-
hold, my nightmare search for
All I tried to tell you come,
stones out my
mouth, a pride of cries.
memory has it
your spent, lost spirit and my timidity
together in the biceps
of the furniture store you manage.
televisions full of baseball games,
that will warm your cold flat.
No heat save for
the stove in the same room
as your four-poster bed and Charlie Brown
You come live
with me in my studio apartment. Middle of the night, chardonnay-colored
horrified I meet in the bathroom.
You mutter yourself back
are most potable sailing,
what you love best.
We circle Angel Island,
in our washboard sloop.
You test your Galilean spunk
tack real fast out and back
under Golden Gates
when fresh pea-soup
weather carries the sun
to the skyline of the city we met in.
whose guitar-shaped body you lust after
When she calls to offer music
she wants me.
Baths, gay men
in the shower, the locker room, the steam bath.
deviation everyone wants to try.
You want to get butt-fucked.
Much later I
on dog-ear photos Irish Mike,
teenage furniture mover,
and you, panning for the camera.
Him playing like he was taking all of you
up inside his head and you, pretending
passivity in garters and seamed
kind of lovemaking not stormy enough,
too sophomoric, not lurid
enough. You butterfly sail
your motorbike to Hayward, me clinging,
reply to an ad in the Berkeley Barb:
"Wanted: B & D Aficionados".
You want to trade me in
for someone who will hurt you.
chains and leather,
leopard skin chambers of musk and old semen.
Swimming in the lust of the moment
I expect you to take me
shadow of the hanging gallows,
to wrap me in cowhide and fur, to stake me.
The space between us: what you want
and what I afford to give.
are caught on your sloop for what
Irish Mike had been glad to sell. You
a twelve-year-old with brandy, he remembers
your face in court.
You pulled down
his pants, things he can't quite
recall but sick you
Visiting Sunday you deny most of it.
And beg me get
rid of a black suitcase
in the bowels of your boat.
While you are
I dismantle your black alligator
evidence: you and Irish
black and white
glossy Mike rubbing and sucking each other's
collection of dildos to eleven inches;
garters, bras and panties not mine;
a jar of Vaseline.
You never wanted a woman, wanted to be one.
would have liked for me to spike
heel you in one orifice, out another. I
your decadent dreams portfolio, its lead weight
Flying Dutchman soul.