In the Blindness of Electric Light, Under the Rose of Their Closed Eyes and Minds

                    i. In the Blindness
                                        of Electric Light

Folds of curls work their emergence from his shirt
sleeves as he rolls up those shrouds burying them,
resurrecting granite-thick arms dusted in
their brunet, caramel cursive licking his

wrist at its bend, watching it bridge his hand to
his fingertips, I follow this path, my eyes
slipping from contact as he tells me of his

upbringing, how his father runs a textile
importing business, how if he ever
returned, he would have to pay a fine to leave
again, or stay and join the army, yet as

he speaks his exotic biography, I
see only this cherub plush of his tanned flesh
chubbing my pound of ivory whenever

it touches mine, he taps my fist in those soft
moments he realizes that I am not
listening to him as intently as I
had promised, as I had boasted of being

capable, and smiling, he pauses, asking,
‘Jonathan, are you paying attention?’ ‘I
I mention, my pants thickening as my

mind translates my sight of him into something
indecent, pushing past sweet, foundational
conversation, I glance not at him, but far
into him, our gazes greeting, signaling

we are digging each other, and that is when
Nasir looks away, to the left, to the East,
as I feel his right foot glide over mine and

land there; under the café table, our feet
near congress our chests and lips cannot yet, not
in the open, not here, ‘I’m too shy to say
this, so I’ll type it,’
he mumbles, whipping out

his phone from his pocket, writing a draft he
passes to my warm palm, unfolding my curled
fingers to lay its directions upon, “Do

you want to see my penis?” the backlit screen
announces what its haste illuminates, its

phrasing pathological, precise in its
fumbling, and in spite of that, enticing, ‘I

do,’ my voice rises from its cavern, my mouth
filling with cotton, drying as my pants to
their most burdensome tighten, comfort denied,

modesty sacrificed in deference to
biological anticipation of
my dick writhing to be revived by Nasir’s
invitation, I look at his lips wishful,

                    ii. Under the Rose
                                        of Their Closed Eyes and Minds

aspirating their intoxication of
the unspoken, choking gracefully on it,
the situation, speechless with our pulses

syncopating, his trembling in between the
vibrations of my own, breathing dissonant,
heart rate made palpable against his leg as
under the table his feet continue their

crusade, my cock stabbing his knee as his knee
makes a Titanic maneuver, crashing with
the sobering abruptness of arctic ice

into the side of my thigh, both our Adam’s
apples sinking as we sigh, and all I can
think of is how big his femur must be, since
he is taller than I am, so it reaches

farther than mine under the water-coloured
faux marble of the shaking table, tidal
in its implications as it permits this

anatomical expedition in the
blindness of electric light, under the rose
of their closed eyes and minds, café patrons who
obliviate all notice of our taking

advantage of their self-involved and very
much disinterested presence, markedly
fortuitous patience demonstrated by

their unintended discretion, of such great
value in the necessary shadows of
this subversive existence, in Toronto
as in Tehran, where a queer Canadian

finds himself engulfed by the heat of the sun,
a closeted Iranian, a sudden
explosion of variables, every

impossible outcome, warring customs and
cultures on the verge of drowning us both if
we permit our desire to tear off all our
clothing like captured flags, hands off of our poles,

lines off of borders, and allow temptation
to perform what our eager postures have been
rehearsing, those gestures of love made to be

perverted, that hidden chamber of the heart
blown open by souls such as our own, by its
force as much taunted as we are tortured, no
pain greater than that we pay for having our

shame discovered, his flame the source, summit, and
cure of this affliction I convince him is
worth wanting, and dying for, this burning thirst.