Chrome Histories

(for Zach)

I had a friend who had

a 1956 Bel Air—frame chunky, smooth;

I still feel from its soft head lamps

a hypnotic daze that suggests

every mile, every driveway

it saw since it began

twenty years before I was born…

Didn’t you tell me, once, you wanted

an El Camino: half truck, half car,

your world again swollen with indecision?

But I was always happy to just sit

and listen to you decide—

that story of yourself you wove

out of the cloth of American rust:

the specter of a glory before us both,

as you felt stranded, I guess,

on the island of twenty-one…

And look, I know, I know

how hard it is to be someone,

to find the foothold on thoughts

that you can actually call home,

that grew up beside you and

saw the same television,

roamed the same playgrounds—

thoughts that burn like the little candles

that you found in your mother’s cupboard

that lasted through the rainy November afternoon…



Candle or car exhaust, it cakes

my hands, burns my eyes—

our days and days chatting online, and

what I’ve left to show for it

is a mouthful of ash

and a muddy old junk yard

with your name on the sign…

Today you look handsome in your El Camino,

but remember, no matter what history you purchase,

we have no choice down which roads time will lead us.

Though, whatever our destiny, I am happy

to tell myself the story of you:

your soft eyes beaming,

your flat chest, chunky and smooth…

Eat Pussy

EAT PUSSY blared the bumper of the car next to me;

someone had taped out the message in block letters,

then spray-painted the bumper, then removed the tape, to reveal EAT PUSSY;

at first I was annoyed,

I bristled at the banner on the bumper, but then

I caught myself, realized myself, and

realized a fundamental truth about men.

At this point in history the mighty Western penis

has become so perfunctory as to almost be cliche;

I’ve nothing against penetration (believe me)

but it takes real skill to communicate

with just a tongue and quivering lips,

and the difference between a man doing oral

and a woman doing oral

is the pure abstraction of manhood

(tasting great, filling less).

EAT PUSSY, then,

on a sun-bleached Honda Civic bumper

is a radical act of straight male reclamation:

a mini-pride parade with every trip to the gas station,

the video game store, or yes

with every date…

Why You Don’t Feel In Love

(for Mason)

It’s sad what losing

you taught me about

you. It’s—so!—sad how

I dearly love those things

very cool, sweet, sharp;

you cannot see how you to me

are cool, sweet, thumbtack sharp.

I treasure the sacred flaws

I find when I find awe;

you will not see how your

very body burns with awe.

I’m Daoist because I’m in

love with strong sensations;

you don’t feel any

blinding weight in your

presence next to me.

I guess I can tell

why you never felt

pull within our love:

if I could ignore

every last inch of my

own skin, ocean waves

wouldn’t feel at all