copyright 1998 Doug Robinson




New York Suite

1. The Space in This Room

Spent, slack, our unsuited bodies slick with sweat,
we dock our eyes expertly like Mercury and Mir,
mine nestling into yours with a deep-space-silent clank,
yours half-veiled by bangs and lashes, you calming faster
as usual, shedding passion, spreading outer peace,
me still mercurial and only loosely lashed
to the mast of your steady gaze, a fire
leaping inside me even as I shrink inside you,
spreading through me unchecked, a fire
of impossible longings, never-to-be forevers,
unlivable and hence unspeakable futures
with you.

Just before exploding into words it shifts,
that fire, takes a different path, bursts out of my eyes
as tears.

“What?” you say, not troubled, your eyes
flicking back and forth in your docking bay,
probing mine, yours peaceful, mine wet.

I have no answer. The answer is bigger
than the space in this room. There is no answer.
I cry, and smile, and hold your gaze.

2. What Kind of a Place?

If a theological seminary promises divine flows of semen
(etymologically I mean)
what kind of a place do you suppose might give us a bed with
bouncy springs and creaky joints and wildly banging headboards
that only has a two-inch-wide crack down the middle
once you’ve lashed the two twins together with electrician’s tape?

3. Your Name

“Speaking of infidelity in translation,”
the group materializing out of the night
alongside and around us, “look,
here’s Doug Robinson.” They don’t know
your name. Your hand nestles warm in mine.

4. Never Think

Feet aching from too much walking you hobble
back just slightly bent (looking older even
than me) into the light-framed bathroom doorway
and turn for only a hesitant moment to look
back at me still splayed exhausted on the bed,
watching you watching me, the fine blond hairs on your
back shimmerin
g gold in the doorway’s bright brick of
light, your eyes soft in an otherwise impassive face,
so open and so closed to me, clothed
in diehard habits of nondisclosure, this
is not all I am, I am more, I am difficult
the difficulty surfacing rarely but inexplicably,
my father is a horrible person and I am much
like him, blocked, hidden
, labyrinthine the paths
of your love, here’s what you should do, don’t
ever take my advice on how to handle me,

and above all never think
that just because I don’t say it
I don’t love you.

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