you would hew me 
into your personal boat.
called me "life raft"
& i shaved my knees
without telling you.
the storm rose sea levels
like a great curtain
& i looked up at you
my plundered something.
do you remember 
digging your knuckles
into my teeth. noosing my throat
with your texture. i became
a man in your handling. 
we make jokes about
how loving men is a curse
but you knew how to fable
just as i liked it.
no one else has done that since.
there are desirable 
ways to be maimed. 
you told me you could read stars
& that one cluster
made my body, following us
like a mother. we had
to escape her & never let
her glimpse this mastering. 
a bedroom 
isn't always the lid 
of a prayer book. who were you
to pull my tongue
long as a scarf & wrap it
round your neck. 
this autumn any leaf pile
could have concealed you.
leaves float on the surface
at first but soon stick 
to the bottom of a lake 
or a stream. there i rest
letting you drift past me
again & again. at a certain 
the memory is only the memory 
& the not the people inside.
i am your boat still
whenever you need one.
i have saved room
inside my skin for your specific
hurting. tell me 
i am sturdier than you thought.
lie to me. tell me i was 
mapped first in a cluser
of stars. tell me my manhood 
is glossy & hidden
but not from you.  

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