Desire

A poem for Sunday

The torso of a shirtless person lying in the grass
Christopher Anderson / Magnum

1. Lying in bed all day, watching and rewatching the video of a man crying out to his mother with his last breath, I look up the term dysania and text it to you.

2. On the walk up the hill from Saint Nicholas, searching for the moon among brick towers, the night sky sets off into a never-ending series of explosions. The police set a curfew.

3. In the dream where I fall running up the stairs and knock out my two front teeth, I cry out to you, hysterical, unable to form words, and everything around me, including my blood, is dark orange.

4. Watching a cat run off with a white woman’s chopsticks at an outdoor café, you squeeze my thigh underneath the table.

5. Walking along the Hudson as the sun sets, we stop underneath a cherry blossom; we breathe into each other’s mouth, and I can feel the gravitational pull of the moon in my lungs.

6. In the store, shopping for eggs, Earl Grey tea, cauliflower, a red pepper, and three limes, I sneak a pint of ice cream into the basket, and you touch my hand but otherwise pretend not to notice.

7. Driving through Worcester, I squeeze your thigh and gesture. Over there, that used to be a porno shop. And that building had been abandoned for years.

8. Drunk on tawny port, dancing to “Love Is Everywhere” by Pharoah Sanders, our bodies press against each other; we breathe into each other’s mouth, and I whisper “I want to lick you.”

9. After rewatching a video of a jogger being shot to death after being run down by a group of men in a truck, I walk down to the Hudson Greenway, toward the lighthouse, and I forget to look up at the sky.

10. Sitting at the base of a street lamp, waiting for you while you use the ATM, a monarch butterfly lands on my knee; I don’t move until it flies away, and when you walk out, I don’t say anything about it. I decide to keep it for myself.