Our shirtless bodies collided like sweat-gutted machines
inside of an intimate red cage. But it was only a hotel room
where our limbs formed an ampersand on the mattress we placed
on the floor like the blank page of a book soon to be wrinkled
with dark noises. I’d never grappled with an older man before,
and I didn’t mind that the first words you said to me when I
arrived at your door were, You’re cute. You let me pin you
and I caught my thin breath on your chest. You felt like a
soft polar bear under me as you laughed like I was a playful
brown cub. You called me boy and I called you nothing. The way
you hugged my bones into powdered clay made me afraid that
I’d piss out red the next time I used the toilet. You said you
worked for an art gallery owner and I told you I was a published poet.
You left that room with a purpling black eye and I left like
salty dead meat in the shape of a man. I still keep the pictures
I took with my phone of the deep cherry red bruises your knees
left on my biceps. I never asked you what kind of story you
told your coworkers about your eye when you went back to work.
Sometimes I pretend that we were a Francis Bacon painting
created using old rags and dirty fingers. A violent dream painted
over another violent dream. An amputation of dust covered
by the blurred sound of blood poured straight from the tube.
about the author