On the long bus journey through Guatemala, I was
so tired I couldn’t keep my head
straight. Several miles and easily an hour before I plucked up the courage to ask the large, delightful Greek next to me
for permission.
Throughout that journey I had snuck
furtive glances at the flesh of his shoulder.
Wide and round, firm and padded, oh it would be divine, I knew.
Heaven in my periphery, lust for his edges, I wanted
to rest my cheek against that shoulder and dream.
Hours until the next town and no pride
to lose, I asked.
He smiled and stuck it out extra
gladly, ready, his beautiful curls shining around his face.
I shuffled my bottom
for the manoeuvre of relief;
the full lean.
and nodded into my own world.
For days, I think people wondered
if we were orchestrating
some kind of romance.
And it’s true the event brought us
that sometimes we would talk about books
into the night.
That at least once more I pressed my face against his warm cotton T-shirt.
But, oh, that fat, ripe, beautiful, strong, shoulder.

Then, in Las Vegas –
I don’t believe I was drunk –
I asked a man
if he would sleep in my bed that night.
Not to do anything
(I said multiple times; important he understood)
‎but so I could feel contained in his arms.
‎He had the physique I needed
‎and a gambling habit I wouldn’t want.
Perfect. He thought about it
‎from his great height
‎and told me it might not be a good idea.
‎He was not made for single beds and he would irritate me, wanting to sleep or to act, knowing he could do neither.

Then the hand I held down an alley
in Indonesia; slipped digits, black
and white, laughing
because it made me feel magical, like a child, high, and I wanted to show him the frogs and he wanted to swim at night, in secret, under the thunderstorm.
The fresh sheets made him itch but he called me for breakfast, called me ‘fine art’, still sends photos of dinners he is making, still presses into my possibility, the rightest fit for that changing season.