Satellites

“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?

K

The first time we made love
was in an empty high school gymnasium

late at night. When I finally saw all of you
in the moonbeams rippling through the grubby

windows behind us—tanned skin, heart-shaped mole,
scars like miniature waxen railroad tracks

crossing your knees—I remember thinking
it’s happening, it’s finally happening, though at the time

I thought it just meant losing my virginity.
We were together for seven months, each lonely

night spent on the phone listening
to each others day echo through the crackling static

vacuum of phone towers stretched 990 miles
between shady hollers and shifting dunes,

so when you came to visit after Christmas
I couldn’t wait to put our words to rest and rely

on the body’s archaic language to tell you
how I felt. Once you were here, though, I realized

that I didn’t want my family and friends to meet you—
I wanted them to meet my girlfriend. You were a topic

of conversation, a doll made of glass in my hands,
something I flaunted, like you were a trembling bunny

I had caught in the woods and brought home to present
to my parents before letting it go at the edge of the lawn.

Do you remember when we fucked for an hour and a half
on my bathroom floor? I faked it twice. It may seem

impossible, but my knees were tired of the tiles
and my parents were sleeping soundly

in the next room. By then, I knew you weren’t
the naked girl I found in that dirty high school gym,

I knew that the moment we shared on the cold
metal bleachers was just that—a moment, frozen in time,

a dusty moonbeam reverie I had created
for myself because I was tired of being lonely.