I sense upon me the opalescent eye
of the one I’m too close to.
I feel your breath, tempting, on memories
of my once-bare boy-cheeks.
There’s a warm, soft magic to this dreaming
I do with lights on, where I conjure up
an other that might be—possibly, probably,
might as well be—out of the sirroccos
that whirl within the boarded-up windows
of this abandoned tenement where
the not-so-secret artist hides.
And if this vague litany of the
poet’s process, seemingly (though never)
under the influence of some alluring muse,
proves too confusing for you to read,
imagine the bruised face on the vagrant
who strides within. I’ve lost count
of the exact number of steps,
this rosary of words, to that
now-blooded far wall. But we’ve built up
some momentum here, so I know
this one’s going to hurt.
Maybe that’s why I might be smiling.