Even at that first stretch, as I unfold
Myself from this once-white bed,
I can feel from my shoulders the absence
Of wings. Haunches of tension, relaxed;
Supple curves and the arch of my torso,
Bicep you could bite; my abs, just morsels
Of perfection. I am exquisitely painted:
But I assure you, nothing divine about it.
Stirred again, I am as ancient as Babylon.
And this lover, this tender, woebegone
Victim beside me: he is as old as wine,
Present in one tableau or another for five
Millennia, below and before me, keen
Eyed, soft-skinned; lips, whispering his need.
I lay here, almost as if fallen from some
Loving height, to make these beds my home.
I am twenty-one. And the nakedness I bring
Is new to me; it’s newer still to him,
And even in dreaming it fascinates his own,
Bareness upon bareness, dreamt upon.
I wear this life like the torn-up vest
He dragged from me, once clung to my chest
In parody of him. And, now he’s sweet,
I drape myself in shameful thoughts, and leave.
Another adolescent attempt. Bless my silly young silly self.