The Black Napkin Volume 1 Issue 5 - Page 28


Pin them beneath truckloads of Scripture’s overburden,

the broken rock and muck they’ve made of mountains

and human hope. All heaven’s day let rats gnaw

their innards’ viscous velvet throbbing, then, like

the vaunted Promethean liver, let their lives grow

back each night, ready to be ripped out on the morrow.

Here’s the Paradise of Desire,

where every man I want

lies down for me. Let the country boys unpeel

their flannel shirts, pull off their cowboy boots, their

inopportune heterosexuality. Let infinity be black goatees,

armpit musk, thick shoulders aswirl with tattoos. Let timelessness

be bourbon-and-biscuit bellies, beefy pecs dark with fur.

Let Chris, stripped to the waist, roped to a corner chair,

cowboy hat cocked over his eyes, sob gratitude around his bit,

rock and struggle, sweat and drool. Let lean and naked Tim,

all night bound and gagged in bed beside me, rub his broad

back against my chest, nipples harden beneath my fingers

as he tightly rides my slide. Let him rouse sunrise

with kidnapped impatience, ass-grinding ache to be taken again,

fingers fumbling my belly hair, insatiate cloth-muffled moans.

Not the question to ask, Christian.

Clearly not the question.

The Tim CD’s over. On the last leg

Of I-75, wind whips off the pamphlet’s

possibilities. Domesticity, justice, desire,

oh, yes, certainly. Here’s all we deserve. Here’s

76, the exit for Berea. Mist lifts off

the mind-hills. The morning glory, toothless

mouth, collapses into itself. Heaven begs

the question: what then is damned?

Living in fragments while seeing in distance

a clearly conceived whole. It smells

like smoke in here, Room 234 of the Holiday Motel.

I stretch out on the bed wide enough for three,

watch this fancied prism in the window dangle

and turn, splintering today’s light into separate selves.