Daniel Lee Fee’s elegy for a young man describes the feelings “neither one of us guys / was brave enough, / simple enough, / to say, / to say out loud.”
He tried and failed and tried again. He failed then tried, so trying were
those frail days whose sunsets red or purple-blue
laid bruises in among the darkened clouds. A whole day seemed
to be floating slowly off into a night sky engulfed in a galaxy
that was not yet night, nor day. Inside we
fail to walk so far: we know our stars from outside.
I looked for truth, for love, for company
my penis the telescope
pointed up to the heavens, your eyes
shining wide upon me, a canopy sky, myself yet not
myself. If we were two,
our constellation revolving around one center of gravity trapped
secrets, private as a black hole traps light
with dense gravity. We were grave indeed. Solemn,
you would tell someone later who knew both of us guys.
Such a friend in retrospect, she surmised we two together were
writing a bowdlerized novel in sandy footprints
along beach trails, ten rubbed toes set to whiskering
soft grasses. Our favorite places
kept us nameless, except for the names
I whispered into your ear, you
whispered into my ear. A mouth to mouth sigh resuscitated
a truth neither one of us guys
was brave enough,
to say out loud. I breathed you in,
Dear saints of love’s beloved god, dear angel
of lost, of failed love, let an echo of our bond in brotherhood
grant me rest off handedly.
Let small playful children on the beach
kick sand over the nearly dead fish they find laying
open-mouthed, gasping. Let small feet dance
a last dance before those grueling lights glare
again upon us where the dance bars close. We ran together
as light so lighter than smoke-misted club air
breaking apart the huge iron doors that kept us in,
then let us loose together,
arm in arm unarmed except
you delighted me then, you will always delight me. I’m gone.
Truly I’m gone. You’re gone too.
But kicked stones remain scattered along so many paths.
When I walk everywhere I walk,
I read the stones in passing as I pass.
Your breath rustles the inner ear bones, my hammer on stapes
like a heartbeat pressed to my own heartbeat.
Yes, gone. I cannot say, goodbye.
Daniel Lee Fee. Martinez, 2012
Image credit: ` TheDreamSky/Flickr