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I fear this souvenir, this keepsake, this
dismay. I still crave. Growing up, both lewd

and shy, it twisted me; that heft and hiss
of wind at sea, that crudeness. Drunk and nude.

Lovesick and naked. Others made it feel
easy. What I got went deeper than scars,

deeper than flesh unwanted. — Sex appeal
overflowed, but not here. Girls who loved Mars.

Boys who loved Venus. What I took away
was a need for both … or neither. Dunno.

Their gift to me, to you, to us. To all
of us who fall in love alone. Dismay

is still a poor substitute. Where they flow
I still drip. Where they caper I must crawl.