Out of the millions and millions of words I’ve read in my life, these seven have stayed with me longer than all the rest.
sometimes i miss you
the way someone drowning
remembers the air
Physics says: go to sleep. Of course
you’re tired. Every atom in you
has been dancing the shimmy in silver shoes
nonstop from mitosis to now.
Quit tapping your feet. They’ll dance
inside themselves without you. Go to sleep.
Geology says: it will be all right. Slow inch
by inch America is giving itself
to the ocean. Go to sleep. Let darkness
lap at your sides. Give darkness an inch.
You aren’t alone. All of the continents used to be
one body. You aren’t alone. Go to sleep.
Astronomy says: the sun will rise tomorrow,
Zoology says: on rainbow-fish and lithe gazelle,
Psychology says: but first it has to be night, so
Biology says: the body-clocks are stopped all over town
History says: here are the blankets, layer on layer, down and down.
Our kiss is a secret handshake, a password.
We love like spies, like bruised prize fighters,
Like children building tree houses.
Our love is serious business.
One look from you and my spine reincarnates as kite string.
When I hesitate to hold your hand,
it is because to know is to be responsible for knowing.
There is no clean way to enter
the heavy machinery of the heart.
Just jagged cutthroat questions.
Just the glitter and blood production.
The truth is this:
My love for you is the only empire
I will ever build.
When it falls,
as all empires do,
my career in empire building will be over.
I will retreat to an island.
I will dabble in the vacation-hut industry.
I will skulk about the private libraries and public parks.
I will fold the clean clothes.
I will wash the dishes.
I will never again dream of having the whole world.
A: He lit a cigarette. His glass of whiskey lit a cigarette too. “I can only truly love my best friend,” he said, “but not in a gay way. Women wouldn’t understand it. They’re too gay.” Both of the cigarettes agreed.