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10 March 2005 @ 12:25 am
I love the smoky libidinal murmur
of a jazz crowd, and the smoke coiling
and lithely uncoiling like a choir
note lingering long after the boys’ lips
have pursed together.
        “Baby, where’s that kiss?”
he whispers, smothering under miles
of lashes and lustfulness. The sax hits
a perfect B flat.
        “You’re nothing but sound and fury, Jack,”
I say, pulling loose, but he’s tied, oh yes
he’s tied as each successive puff twines up
his legs and arms and creeps into his
devil-may-care mouth, that deliciously
delinquent mouth.
        “Let me wrap my lips around those,”
he asks, already puckered up to the darling aroma of
tobacco and atrophy beneath flickering fluorescents.
        “Hey, Jack,” I say, licking my lips,
        “There are more back at my place.”
Supple fragmentation of light glides off the smoky screens
to roll across my library console and Parthenea,
who’s mouth lies agape and eyes stare fixedly on the paler
parts of his skin. My own pupils dilate and
he too waxes like some mythological moon or
Narcissus leaning in to kiss his watery grave.
        “I love you,”
he breathes – the last coherent words I hear,
before his shadow skids, driven by the predawn light,
across the bedroom wall.

Note: The first three lines of this poem are not mine, but William Matthew's. This was an exercise on recognizing and continuing a tone from thee lines of an existing poem.