The Sinless Paradise of Stolen Joys

And watch the men I’ve made leave
Like an idea I meant to write down[…]
Nothing we erect is our own.

                    i. Daddy

Lover! Make me a whore of Christ.
Delight in my deceiving us
each as we tease to surface what
deep beneath this flesh sometimes waits
for what seems empty, endless centuries

to bleed. This need of ours to be
perceived by others, utter strangers, as
what they want so desperately
to believe! Martyrs are we, weird
participants in an eldritch

ritual. Bent sacrificial victims
bewitching, then embedding in
our black path of wet satin, sewn
tears of pearls protecting me from
what I want. Constellating with

webs pulling from lips these myths we
stitch, lies everyone else refuses
to see as gifts. Between these pink,
sticky kisses weave secret deeds,
honeyed by tongues flicking against

one another, this tapestry
our breath presses and folds beneath
eyes and ears we close to knowing
how far is too far for two stars
to be going in sight of night-lit stones

                    ii. Son

over which cobble drunkards’ toes.
Holy as the yellowed book no
one anymore quotes, purple as
its mystery’s florid prose wilting in
our mouths. Piercing as a thorn of

bird-song pushed hard by hope through the
crest-fallen petals of a soil-
dark throat sore from holding back love’s
flood. Pressured to profess once its
pleasure left, masochistic as those who

chose, after the bars closed their doors
to antics awakened by them,
to languish in the sinless paradise
of stolen joys. To glimpse beneath
haloes of streetlight fools in their

throes, how those hobbling home know our
transgressions are performative. Shows
put on by us for them each to
experience, to live from their
various vicarious distances.

This extravagance of two men
too close, too out, in the open
so emboldened as to fuck against the
wall of the cathedral all pass
by in their individual

                    iii. Holy Ghosting

passions’ progresses. Toward an
oblivion in the obsidian
reflection of which is written
this broken, unspoken thing we
have no problem confessing: that

sin weathered together comforts
more than condemns us when we should
know better. That what I want is
worth mentioning, that your hands preventing
mine from throwing off the force of

your thrusts are a form of prayer. That
what their voyeur god does is no
different than this crowd’s indifference
to my suffering. Our bodies
entwined combine, alchemize, as

that sorceror Christ did his own
blood and water in offering
while he was crucified, when soldiers poked
him on his right side. So, tonight
wine flows for every left hand

to hold, lest approaching sunrise
deprive passersby the liquor
after which thirst, relentess as
this our kind strives to quench in shadows, dries
before it arrives. Drink my life!

Notate Bene:
☞ The title of the poem is derived from Charles Baudelaire, «62. Mœsta et errabunda» / “62. Mœsta et errabunda [Latin: Sorrowful and Wandering]”, Stanza 6, Line 1 (26 overall), in Spleen and the Ideal of The Flowers of Evil: Translated with Notes by James McGowan: With an Introduction by Jonathan Culler, published at New York by Oxford University Press in 2008; pages 130–131 (with parallel French text). In its original tongue, the source line is rendered «L’innocent paradis, plein de plaisirs furtifs[.]»
1Jericho Brown, “Dear Dr. Frankenstein”, Stanzas 3 and 7, Lines 2–3 and 3 (7–8 and 18 overall), in [Cycle] II of The New Testament, published at Port Townsend, Washington by Copper Canyon Press in 2014; page 38.