By Tim’m West
between infection and affection
there is the utter unfairness of over-contemplating
somebody’s rejection of not just your truth,
but your essence, your positive spirit.
There is the soft brown flesh around you
strugglin’ against obsessions with guilt, disclosure,
and the dirty you are sometimes made to feel
for loving this way.
There is the battle waged in the body,
but a gym membership and good looks
to mask it.
There are guilty erections.
Lovemaking shouldn’t be so psychological.
There is evidence that it is still ecstatic, magical,
sticky-sweet, carefree, sexy
and that the right kind of baritone
gets you hard.
There are strong arms to hold some body with
and a beautiful boy before you…
but tonight, you need to be held.
And though your heart knows no ill-intent,
it fails sometimes to beat on-beat,
becomes insecure, volatile, loses its rhythm…
especially when it senses another heart
across a crowded smoky bar
with an intense gaze to match your own.
At such a juncture, there is often the seductive fantasy
that there is no infection
just you and he and your reciprocal affection:
knowing his soul, opening your own
trusting the safety of condoms and intentions.
This peom was first published in Tim’m West’s 2003 collection Red Dirt Revival.