An Orchard of Thorns


Trust is only semiprecious
     to the stoned, lacking lustre, where
     we go now is anywhere but
     home, no one knows when to fold the
     spread, eyes full of tarot reading
     the terror of my trembling hands,
     you kiss a shaking dick kicked speech-

                    less by Cupid’s arrow-toed foot,

with just the tip, your scorching finger
     sourcing my struggle’s route, you know I’m
     game, if not cliché, soccering out
     and soldiering through my burden, your
     saunter is a shout that gets wet
     as it wanders deep into the
     body, getting off so softly

                    before I can word my doubt, with-

out giving a shit or throwing
     them a bone, heads reluctant to
     take a look from our moment turn
     red at the mention of what these
     actions have been suggesting, that
     touch can be transcendent, a wound
     a door for we who never know

                    when to close or where to go home,

a winking invitation to
     sink instead of float, once thrown out
     broken lights headed as smoke through
     the empty-headed opinions
     of others, once anonymous,
     weather the gutter better when
     marked by scars you clean with a mouth


that says without saying this month
     is now ours, an orchard of thorns
     waiting for years to be torn from
     aching landscapes of regrets fears
     prevented us from clearing, smiles
     filling throats with similes for
     the sky’s fallout knowing without

                    showing its talent how to pick

precedents, a consequence of
     sentiment giving chances a
     second glance before sending us
     bounding like frost-bitten hares back
     to those sticking places from which
     we both split, pieces of damage
     salvaged by another language

                    than that covered by your melting

velvet’s reassurance of licks,
     molasses tongues of hot asphalt
     acting up and out as our cocks’
     crookèd yardsticks, how ‘It’s not the
     journey, but the mileage,’ you’d said,
     aware before I was that this
     would be ‘it,’ that mine is an odd

                    predicament no one lives through

but with, that demons take their pick
     of us and love is a forest
     where they are well exercised, to
     enjoy the silence because we
     have no right to question its plot’s
     ending before a lost film can
     connect with an audience, ‘So


let them watch us kiss,’ memories
     teaching me we are only dust,
     smudges of a moment blurred from
     a distance, forgiven by some-
     one you want to forget, lonesome
     hung men have shot down presidents
     without comeuppances, ‘And why

                    should this be any different?’

delayed as a motorcade of
     textbook-driven suits spitting and
     spewing doom-and-gloom-heavy bricks
     of die-an-agonizing-death
     diagnosis and verboten
     implications hitting my heart
     over-and-over ever since,

                    living with never getting your

name has been the strangest gift, shame
     an itch picking off characters,
     our third act a buzzarding bitch
     hurtling through flesh to feast on our
     fruit’s bitter seed, this meat worn raw
     and still warm from needing to be
     seen, never getting enough of

                    it cleansing the scene of our lust’s

accident in case love happens,
     two men gone, retreating into
     the safety of old ideas,
     wearing well the soiled clothes of sex
     and death, emptiness enacting
     dutifully the rituals
     of the bereaved, leaving souls bared.