One night, when my body was without
a title and I underlined want instead,
he said only hush, hush.
I picked him up at a bar, like a cherry
stone out of wet grass. What a bird-
like thing of me to do, to expect something soft
from someone all backbone.
He was beside the sand in the hour,
like a fish caressed
with a rock. And the stars
had so much foam in their mouths –
mother taught me not to stare;
sometimes I am bitten with wishes
that could only be male.
There, his moon berries in fox piss,
there, my mouth’s allowance
spent on baskets. There was a man
at the train station, who hypnotised
the nicotine out of my lungs with the way
his yellowed fingers dragged the smoke
around his body, like he was cloning himself
into a version of eternity.
How men can make themselves
into anything they want to,
a language beside the tongue.
In bed, I reached for my cigarettes,
filtered his hot sand from lip to lip
until it was glass and he was running
through himself like memory.
Until he couldn’t remember himself.