change subtle

he stares up at me
with a bemused smile
as i stand nearly at the top
of an aluminum ladder
cleaning gutters

relentless wind and rain
from winter storms
have filled
the long aluminum bins
with dead leaves
and mud,
blocking passage
for which new rain
to flow

upon return
to mother earth
i give him
a small kiss,
like mother used to do
as a gesture of fondness
or even love

he recoils, as if bitten
by an unseen prey,
and i laugh.

no one looks
or stares or
     why are their faggots kissing
     in the front yard?!?

but then again
this isn’t Oklahoma


the violence
of your geometry
makes me smile
as the smooth
long breath from
a winter’s sky
nestles deep into
my skin.

we stand together
at a trailhead,
in search of demons
& tiny yellow spiders.
your churlish words
reflect the sunlight
of languid day.

a car heater burns my eyes
as windshield wipers
crush ice across
curved panes of glass.
a traffic cop smiles,
gives us right of way.

i turn left, instead of right,
leave you on the doorstep
of a house
i no longer know.

small packages &
greet my footsteps
& i linger in the foyer,
reading notes
of abstention,
desperate to find
my grace,
my serenity,
a pathway back

from the demon
i’ve become.


i only kissed her
to fit in
to be one of the boys
a normal kid in the schoolyard

after we made love
the first time
on her daddy’s couch
in an empty house
i bragged to the other boys
laughed with the other boys
now you’re a man
slaps on the back,
high fives and atta boys

and when i kissed him
in a darkened doorway
of an alley
behind a liquor store and
adult bookstore
i discovered my truth

when i walked
onto the schoolyard
i held my secret

i discovered reality
i discovered sorrow
i discovered madness
and pain

i discovered my own
of being a man