“Longing on a large scale is what makes history.”
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“Most of our longings go unfulfilled. This is the world’s wistful implication–a desire for something lost or fled or otherwise out of reach.”
~Don DeLilo, Underworld

In the year I discovered
I was a lover I was a

glass-eyed and hungry
beast locked behind the
cold steel of my indecision,

unsure of what it was
that would make me whole

but wanting it all, all, all
to myself. How strange it is
to place a stranger, a body

cutting the blustery chill of
the street, into my mind,

by my side in endless permutations
of things I tell myself will make
me happy, a kiss or a fuck or a

conversation that only happens
in the scratchy highlight reel

of my fantasies. And stranger still
this attraction to people who will never
pluck me from the identity parade

of skimmed-over silhouettes; mine,
a wish made yet unfulfilled. I exist

within the shadowy halls of the
House of Black and White, a quilted
wall of faces I’ve never forgotten,

my loneliness uncovered and laid bare
before their eyes. I feel I must give account

for this shortcoming, must provide an entire
history of longing, an autobiography of
warmth lingering beneath the numb rind

of my fingers, my loins, my lips. But how
can you account for the world moving beneath

your very feet, how do you explain its wistful
implications, all rising tides and shifting plates
and stench of peat? And why do I feel I should

be ashamed of being ushered to sleep on the
rippling echoes of the confessions I whisper

to the moon, for hoping that someone else speaks
sweetly to its cratered face, for knowing in my bones
that these lunar orisons float through the cold

glimmer of aether between us, cruising along an orbit
of desperate optimism, but always just out of reach?



After dinner, my father asked me
if I had a “type”, and I could have said yes,
I have an agonizingly predictable soft spot
for long-legged girls with flaxen hair
and eyes as steely and brilliant as bluefish,
girls who crash their mouths into mine
like bumper cars and smirk as they cup my crotch,
girls whose fingers cut paths through my hair,
who aren’t as tough as they seem, who use me
to forget about their boyfriends for a little while,
long enough that I stop remembering
that I wasn’t made to be loved fully, that I
am a willing and desperate distraction, that I
am only keeping their beds warm until the other men
come home and I am just a secret they’ve covered up
with makeup, but instead of all that, I hung a crooked
semi-smile between my cheeks and told him no,
the lie slipping as carelessly through my teeth
as I love you from your pale lips.