“What does your ring symbolize?”

But I don’t think you’ll get

that Kerouac quote

or the weight of harassment

I feel in public spaces,

or understand the marriage

of my selves to our selves

and our body,

so I shrug, “Nothing,”

and the conversation turns

again to your most recent

doctor’s visit.

Two more brown bodies enter here

and our eyes kiss,

sing to each other

the old, whispered refrain:

“We will all of us burn

together here

ifwhen the shit hits the fan.”

But I think

you seem very certain

that yours is the Universal Truth

for so finite

a being;

I will always lack

that sweeping confidence.

I am haunted by the glimpses

I sometimes catch of you

in the twilit consciousness

just before sleep:

your hair long and free

or your beard neatly trimmed,

smiling at me

from the next pillow over

or bent double,

laughing-to-tears,

while waves crash around you,

soaking your loose flannel.

And I want you to know

I could make all the worlds spin forever

just lying here

imagining your hands

and your knees

and the warmth of your thigh,

so close to mine …

is it mine?

I had a friend once

who asked that his students

never ‘just’ read:

“You must fuck your books,”

he would say,

“and do it with passion;

no one wants a partner

who just lies there.”