They are like those crazy women
who tore Orpheus
when he refused to sing,
these men grinding
in the strobe & black lights
of Pegasus. All shadow & sound.
"I'm just here for the music,"
I tell the man who asks me
to the floor. But I have held
a boy on my back before.
Curtis & I used to leap
barefoot into the creek; dance
among maggots & piss,
beer bottles & tadpoles
slippery as sperm;
we used to pull off our shirts,
& slap music into our skin.
He wouldn't know me now
at the edge of these lovers' gyre,
glitter & steam, fire,
bodies blurred sexless
by the music's spinning light.
A young man slips his thumb
into the mouth of an old one,
& I am not that far away.
The whole scene raw & delicate
as Curtis's foot gashed
on a sunken bottle shard.
They press hip to hip,
each breathless as a boy
carrying a friend on his back.
The foot swelling green
as the sewage in that creek.
We never went back.
But I remember his weight
better than I remember
my first kiss.
These men know something
I used to know.
How could I not find them
beautiful, the way they dive & spill
into each other,
the way the dance floor
wet & holy in its mouth.
Terrance Hayes's Other Poems
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