At nineteen I turned myself into a god:
all muscle and sinew, flesh vital as grapes.
I would play the sybarite’s protracted tune
on my boys, my gardenias, my goblets.
Now so many things desert me.
I am a puckered version of my former self,
and this boy considers me with distaste,
forehead furrowed deep, afraid
to get too close. I lay him on cool cloths,
expose one brown nipple, a slim triangle
of chest. But his throat wouldn’t open
even if bitten by a lizard. He’s not
one for coy gestures: a shoulder thrust
in contrapposto, eyebrows arched
like bows. Tempt him with apricots and ripe
cherries, gold ducats and wine. Press him
to accordion and lute. What would be
the point? Body is a dead end. Obscene.
I give him disembodied, then. My head
on a salver. Let that be absolution,
ponderous in the muddy light.
Let the open mouth speak of the body’s
inability to hold on to anything it loves,
except to keep asking for more.
More goblets, more gardenias, and more
bare-chested boys in ruffled shirts.