The witness of nerve and bones

September 2017

Lying naked before us both,
pale breast pierced by the night’s first needles,
you murmured, is this really happening?

Christening the fog I had been stumbling through
since your message burned a phosphor scar into my retina—yes,
I am propositioning you—

answered by my halted breath, my blank unblinking eyes
in which you might have read
that same: is this really happening?

And when velocity propelled us, naked, onto your bed,
sent you writhing, swearing,
climaxing under my hands,

your cries could not drown out the question
screaming counterpoint inside my brain:
is this really happening?

I wanted more duets. You wanted him, his needle-tips,
his loving surgeries. So that night there you laid:
naked before us, languid, softly asking.

My fingers ached to sift a silent yes, yes, yes through your hair.
But the moment was not mine, so I remained
a pair of eyes, unmoving.

Later, alone, watching the minutes crawl past, I thought:
yes, you and he were beautiful together,
and no it wasn't awkward, not even when you came,

but what will stay with me
is how you reached out from your afterglow,
took my hand,

and held it, firmly,
stroking my knuckles with your thumb.
— From The Chimeriad. 14 September 2017.