I have been in the shadows with men
Known their loneliness
Kissed, held and touched it – tucked slightly behind their prostate
My first boyfriend kissed as though bullets were coming through bedroom walls
His narrow hips grinding against mine in the dark
hoping to communicate something that, if spoken, would mean suicide.
I remember the feeling of first laying my fleshy self down before him
Smelling him and listening to the command to remove more clothing
The way he felt around his shoulders.
The way his jaw line formed a perfect frame
The way he smiled when I found that spot on the back of his neck
I remember that knowing that came with pulling him in
Torn fabric and the faint sound of someone laughing
Around us, bawled up clothes, salted sheets, days when daddy didn’t show up and news clippings of attention worthy dead faggots formed mountains.
I’ve known how holding is dangerous and how men turn cold in an instance
How “cocksucker” stings and how he let them curse you at the end.
How laughter taunts and how no one can know.
I’ve known the whisper that comes after the embrace
and of corners that are good for sneaking into.
Of crying and bleeding
Of friends gone by and screaming,
trying to force the universe to understand that things don’t have to be like this
I’ve seen them clean up after
Saw the news story declaring: “Young boy killed, suspected gay hate crime. Stabbed, shot and sodomized.”
and felt his hand pull away
his lips now dry and no longer filled with that same longing.