Tonight

It must have been too much alcohol,

even your look becomes suddenly 

                                            so tender

and full of the promise 

                             of a summer’s night.

I’m longing to have you, 

                                   here and now

before the harsh daylight steals you away

and I might never see you again.

                                  Anyway that’s the game,

a sweet but ruthless encounter 

 

                                   with no tomorrow

for queers like us in this all-embracing land.

But I like you tonight – 

that’s why this empty bar

does call for something more intimate 

                                     between us.

your face— 

your half-open shirt—

Your creamy chest— 

O the rushing sound 

                           deep inside my veins!

It’s been too good a night to let you flee,

                           just stay a while longer—

If you desire admiration,

                           or compliments 

from all men before and after me,

I have nothing better now

                          than my loneliness 

in a promiscuous life,

and tonight,

                            I’ve given it to you.

 

Published on The New English Review

Monologue

Ho fermo il core in petto.

Non ho timor: verrò!

(my heart beats firmly ,

I’m not afraid:I’ll come – Don Giovanni)

 

breathe in, breathe in ,

the dust, the smog, the sordid proof of being,

a dose of excitant in the air ,

a whiff of depressant that fumbles my hair ,

Is that how I am ? Is that how I smell?

Is that how I should proceed with my preparation

and advance to my beau de faire?

 

I see my black suit in its funereal solemnity

I see my bow tie batwinged to a silent mockery,

I do not think the old time remembers me ,

no, nobody sings ever more ,

as spring does not bring back the fall.

 

I, a sojourner in a strange town,

I, bound with forces that frosted my hair,

see the sun arise from my coffee mug

— each day!

but again, who would ever care ?

 

my sad reflection approaches in the mirror,

my sad determination voices the horror

the negation or sublimation,

from the man I should meet in one hour ?

 

I know these eyes too well.

yes I grow older now , each year ,

I speak wearing my heart sincere

on my frivolous lips;

I’ve seen life seeping away through my finger tips,

come ye my soothsayer ,

come and tell me

that the line of life continues somewhere.

 

It’s time to look at my watch and count

one two three, yes one two three,

should I reach out to the nonchalant door

and open to the falling agony ?

 

I could have bought a bunch of roses,

I could have talked to the petty peddler

I could have said with a friendly grin

certainly It will be a great year to come ,

to you , to me , to all who wander alone.

because I do not feel cold at all,

I feel the universe spiraling up above

with bits of decay and bits of reanimation

ready at last for the final transformation ?

 

In all, I am beside myself .

until I breathe myself out and away like

a diminished sound for an emaciated figure ,

will he notice ?will he take heed ?

will he be disturbed by the sweat down my hair ?

 

Ah, the clock urges me on urges me on ,

time to face my saviour in the throng.

 

-written 2016 revised 2018, to be published on the seventh issue of Shanghai Poetry Zine October 2018.