Garbage Love

Before Brokeback Mountain,
we had been breaking our backbones
in the hill of trash;
you dug for iron scraps,
while I collected 
every shape of plastic;
you held onto my ribcage, 
and I leaned on wood eaten by termites.

We shared chicken leftovers
still whole inside latched styrofoam boxes;
you slurped off
the ketchup on my jaw;
I finished clean
the thigh you dangled;
we did not mind the noise
of rats that witnessed our grimed secret.

When we found unsold fruits,
you pulled them apart as swift as licking;
I picked the seeds 
so you would not choke;
you quickly caught
the drips for my tongue;
my lips on yours tasted sweeter
when papayas were soft in our scoops.

But that was before the film
when the length between us was a breath
of faint diphthongs;
I left the hill to forget all
odors that provoked,
the black smog waking us
and the white clouds that lulled 
our aches we massaged under the stars.

River Phoenix

When we last spoke in Gainesville,
you told me about strict veganism,
the nutrients from aubergine,
and transcendental meditation,
the benefits of Om airy breathing.

October that year suddenly ended
in a lifetime of mourning
I silently sobbed when I saw
the Strip after two when empty
and Utah in late winter snow.

I moved to Northern India
after your private funeral,
to collect my vague thoughts
and gather my disintegrating self
confused about life’s provocation.

The Ganges chanting in Varanasi
calm like the eyes of the old widows
before the morning puja
reminded me of your patience
when you talked about the oceans.

The river boats at fiery sunset
quiet during the arathi ritual,
the burning of camphor and ghee,
made me remember when you were
introspective about the redwood trees.

The saffron robes and the marigolds
of half-naked sadhus and sanyasins
completed the slow-to-rapid beats
of sarod, tabla, sitar, and shehnai—
better than heroin, coke, or morphine.

Da Vinci’s Low Lover

They all laughed at me
when I honestly said
I was Leonardo da Vinci’s muse;
they measured my face in palms
and my body in paces, cubits and feet—
I was not the Vitruvian Man.

I was neither the Christ
nor the St. John,
nor was I the St. Jerome in the Wilderness;
they searched me in the Last Supper
and the unfinished Adoration of the Magi,
but they could not find.

All his portraits were thoroughly checked,
including that of a musician
and Bacchus the naughty Roman god;
even the Mona Lisa was used to taunt
and the snake-haired Medusa
to dismiss my claim.

When I told them I was the man
in his headless drawings,
they called me a liar;
when I pointed to them that I was unclothed 
behind the drawn draperies,
they accused me of lunacy.

Nobody believed me when I swore 
I was in his lost painting
The Battle of Anghiari;
I also posed nude mostly with erection
for his bronze sculptures
they said they could not find.

It was very hard for me to reveal 
that he probed my anus,
penis and testicles for his human anatomy;
I once sat on top of him naked
and stretched my arms in oscillating joy—
I was the muse of his flying machine.


I’m now back
at the Japanese garden— 
where he used to
hang out.

I’ve frequented
the same porn theater,
where he cruised,
to check.

I’m online often
to find familiar photos,
read new profiles,
and wait.

I’ve asked cops
who, I know, are lying— 
because their stern
lips move.

A Poet’s Letter to the Young Gay Men

Both of you have names,
for the square jaws chiseled in a gym.
This isn’t about cold showers
or muscles that come with smiles.
Should I write your poem
in the first-person singular I, my voice,
the delusion of sad prophets?

I’ve never been a homo,
nor have I tried night cruising on foot
to entertain my bored tongue.
I have no thick biceps to scaffold
with a tight tee-shirt.
If egged on to unzip, I have nothing
to pull out for the big reveal.

When villains poke fun,
I don’t run into the closet to disappear
in the comforting of the dark.
Their laughs fail to make me grieve
even when in unison.
My skin is now wood-thick from years
of smirks too hard to deface.

I won’t rush into that room,
of waiting throats spit-oiled to swallow
even the sweat off my chin.
Hush moans are noisy discomfort
when their mouths baffle.
The intentional brushes of their arms
on mine are mere accidents.

Last will isn’t for the youth,
but those who have had enough of life
waning slow into black-ash.
Fingers together are warm enough,
so flames are redundant.
The air from the lips that speak without
words is what I really want.

I know about those stars,
your awning when you lay each other.
I can’t omit the voyeur moon
that licks its lips when you embrace.
Should I be your god,
omnificent, the re-creator of tired tales,
churning you dry in my hand?

Weekend Midmorning Dissociation

When he came down from the high
of a kite, he asked for my quiche,
eggs and pie crust soaked in butter.

His breakfast not complete without
a mimosa for his parching throat,
I have mastered squeezing oranges.

Finished, he would bite my earlobe,
no need of thanking with words;
I have become used to his reticence.

Always like that, the day of citruses,
the table overwhelmed by flans,
I have stacked all in the refrigerator.

I forget at times, thinking he would
plummet from the height of clouds.

Why He’s Now Eating A Red Delicious Alone

Meeting off Facebook
after six months
of chatting,
they moved in together
to share
the same accounts.

The old kitchen small,
a fork for steak,
a spoon
for soup, a white plate,
a beer mug
were all for sharing.

Starting each other’s
red Marlboro,
each other’s butter ball,
either one
even shared secrets.

On the mattress bed,
sharing gladly
a pillow, a cotton sheet,
sweat, spit, 
they had muscles.

When he brought out
a pipe, a share
in a flash, the other cried,
him, but he didn’t.



I’m now back
at the Japanese garden— 
where he used to
hang out.

I’ve frequented
the same porn theater,
where he cruised,
to check.

I’m online often
to find familiar photos,
read new profiles,
and wait.

I’ve asked cops
who, I know, are lying— 
because their stern
lips move.

Cruising for his Reincarnation

The antiquated streetlamps bring
me back to that night when you
smiled in my direction. I nodded,
names unimportant to strangers
who just wanted to be followed,
held, and forgotten. We did that
and more, but you failed to keep
what was not said, and so did I.

That cumulus topiary reminds me
of that hot season of aubergines
and blossoms. Your back, carved,
all muscles, leaned for unzipping,
the agility of my fingers, the half
moon our patient voyeur. The rest
your moans I hushed with my lips,
the sprinkler soaked like a drizzle.

This bench nags me to remember
that you would break your hidden
glass pipes. I was just not enough
to astound your mouth or warm 
your tongue. My kisses could not
fill your quiet throat with gasped
words that always meant nothing,
your stubbled face on my chest.

The garden stays the same, at six
no swans around, the soft sound
of leaves brushing skins. It is still
a puzzle, unknown steps tracing
the trail, eyes sizing up shadows,
hands groping. I no longer swivel
my head when I hear subtle calls
that do not whistle high like yours.



Chemical Sex

We were three…

Slowly inhaled,
the bottled fume
of poppers,
like a thousand
hands taking off
my clothes
piece by piece,
unzipped all
my inhibitions.

One was missing…

Melted to smoke,
the piped meth
crept to pull
my epidermis,
a bloodless cut
for the soul
when loneliness
was a wound
refusing to heal.

Another was shot…

Finely chopped,
the coke lined
on the table,
as though a feast
that welcomed
every glutton
who was starved,
urged me not
to remember.

Then I was alone…

Rolled into a cig,
the dried weed
promised me
an instant cure,
the razor blade
for my arms
beside the rope
for the high
noon asphyxiation.