Winter 1994 • Vol. XVI No. 1 PoetryJanuary 1, 1994 |


You come back from the evil where you've been so long living and dying in a crusty, tired voice, come back to hold me and tell me good-bye in the Daskalides voice I first knew, and loved. You take me to your bed and are suddenly naked, and plump. You leave your glasses on. Your curls come back. Then your best friend comes into the bed, who is my friend, too, who is not yet sick but will be, and we lie together, all of us naked and beautiful. I smell your shit faintly, like a lover's known smells toward the end of the day, like we know and love and smell New York City—your penis bleeds a little and your best friend licks it healed.                This is where it all began: with love and ecstasy. I cry watching these two men, the first tears because of it since three years ago in a hotel lobby when you told me everyone, everyone we knew who was going to die of this. It was like the awful first truth of childhood: yes, Mama will die one day, but no

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