Tonguing Licks like Splinters in a Wrist


The only thing you shouldn’t do
is feel ashamed. Tonguing licks like
splinters in a wrist, Cupid’s bullets all
resist armistice, fall from dead
air space blinking raging fists as
they blank past radio waves, the
way rebel angels unsubtle

          and unsuitable tumble strangely so

comfortable from alias
grace, the way strained chords do from the
blameless hand of a left-handed
guitarist whose pain’s a song’s most
lethal chorus which touches your
lips, leaving you transfixed, mixed up,
messed, incapable of refraining from

          whispering it the way rumours

do your name following anonymous
play in a public place. It flickers haze.
It singes cigarette. Sizzles
erotic, artful promises
breaking silence an unyielded
temptation admonishes. Judges wet
explosive performances over and


over of courtship ritual
exhibits riveting and pivotal,
imperious as toppled kings
trinketed and pocketed like
chess pieces coveted and conquered, wins
reverberating museums’
peaces. Pleases, if not Jesus,

          captive audiences held hostage in

bondage thrall, eager to crawl back
for more to maul, called but holding
off applause the way crime scenes do
witnesses, fiendish to see it
all unfold, bared raw. Don’t pretend
to forgive another’s transgressions you
commit, not when listening to

          an instant turned permanent when

converted to lyrics no one
innocent forgets. This is how
it begins. The giving to get
as good as one gives. What a gift
so much experience is, what,
when, instead of crashing, love emerges
from its own ashes. Phœnix, spirited,


irreverent. Put to a little death
increasing attraction pardons
and replenishes, permissive
as letting compliments affect,
for even executioners
need to pause to catch their breath, lest
hearts mid-throb stop beating breasts and

          paramours protest love’s legendary

injustices. Incendiary spit,
sentences bled from pens in vain
paint more vivid wicked pictures
of two men unashamed, more than
just friends, unretouched by the brush
of remorse blushing them tame. And
such I was, and yes, have yet been,

          since touched not first but every

moment spent welcoming my devouring.
Cannibal cool, then, this tendency of
those condemned to gravitate and
gyrate toward our own martyrdom. In
eating each other how we eat
our sin. In the ravishing rush
relishing an exploration


by mouth of scent and savouring
in silent devotion to others known
as being deviant, this temple of
flesh where Nature demands to be
reverenced. What communion! A
sinking of breath into skin. No
questions asked, no hands left idle

          or untasked, when pulled toward what

both want both palms progress and present so
unabashed as they pull down pants.
Tonguing licks like splinters in a
wrist, a parting of lips at world’s
end greets oblivion with a
kiss rimming its edge only our
kind can comprehend. This brethren

          priesthood whose belief rests not only on

knees but on backs, on stomachs, on
chests, and seeks to be spread like cheeks
or a word pores ingest. Freely
and without regret or apology.
Given legs by being given
respect, not bullshit runaround.
Never let desire atrophy!