[ poetry - june 04 ]
he secures the needle, sinks
it deeper in the IV swings -
a clothes line - a strong wind
on the cracked vinyl stool, he steadies
himself against the metal pole checks ids & clicks.
silverlake's sleaziest sex club - the exile
a cautionary totem to randy patrons, he is exile's
idea of safer sex education. why sink
good money on pamphlets & posters? clicks
three queens in. sex club regulars. "what swings
ya out this way?" he asks. steady
the moon hangs, a bruised pearly orb, wind
warm, summer santa anas, wind
troubling his toxo drip. i drove out to the exile
broke & lonely, to keep him company. keep him steady
through the long night. he has to work. sinks
every penny he earns on meds & bills. the door swings
open, an old queen walks out, eyes to the ground. click
another one vanishes into the night. clicks
endless scour for flesh. techno floats out, mingles with the wind
he jumps off his stool. swings
& jitterbugs with his i.v. pole to thumpthumpthump. pariah, this exile
invites me to join him, orders me to wipe that hopeless sinking
look off my face & DANCE! he stumbles i rush to steady
him. he pushes me off & sits back down, steadies
his breathing. a queue is forming & he resumes click clicks.
"let me dance! if i fall, let
me with a withering look. he's shrunken so. the wind
could easily take him high & away from this earthly exile.
"let this bug-disease-death-thing swing
the way its gonna swing."
nothing to say. steady
my composure. ashamed of defining him... victim. exile
i stare at the space between the stars. he clicks
in the queens. his hair, cancer thin & translucent, sways in the wind
moon grass thumpthumpthump drip into the needle sinks
the needle deeper he steadies
himself but the santa anas swing him up & high in mid-click
a fierce wind exile.