POETRY
No

No means—not yet?
Maybe in a minute.
Hit the bowl, have a drink
Wait, please.
Just relax.

No means um, if, or, maybe, go—
a pillow-gagged mouth, 
tape on the windows,
a siren, a sound-proof spread.

God, you’re just too beautiful.
Thank you, thanks again, 
but your sink drain sick with Paxil and PrEP
makes me question your natural state.
(I wonder if the red streaks in the toilet bowl
are boys who didn’t escape).

I hope I didn’t—you asked me to wait and I kept
It’s ok—I’ll get over it—please don’t speak.
Silence will sing me recovery.
(Scar tissue sleeps best underneath the rug
and I sleep best shaky knees to my chest,
sunk back slow in your bear trap).

Your stubble will scuff each face I touch from now until I rehash
but I’ll always remember to—
just . . . relax.

You’re a beautiful man
Thanks a bunch. Thanks.
(My eyes watch the pile of used bowls by your bed—
cold empty pockets, 
dirty, displaced).