“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,


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?