Under the damp canopies of Ditmas Park
I turn my head up to the lilacs heavy
with rainwater and their delicate smell.
I’m carrying rose quartz in my hip pocket
so I can feel *embodied*. The last time
I saw you it was summer and our clothes
stuck to us. Now it’s spring, when the air
begins to warm and wetten, and a physical
existence begins to feel at least possible again.
Lately, all my friends want to talk
about masculinity, which is tempting
to reject altogether,
like, I’m supposed to be it
but have no interest in its restriction,
its dull refusal of excess.
Still I could just be bitter
because everybody seems to think
I’m some strange, wispy butch
who forgot to stop painting her nails.
We group-text selfies for affirmation.
Kai’s reflection startles
after a dramatic haircut and they’re sick
of everybody projecting boi-ness
onto them, and will this make it worse?
– o bb
let’s never care –
I’m here to meet Paco
in the empty apartment
we’ll live in together.
They say they’re in search
of a masculine gentleness.
The super guided them here
over the phone to a hidden key
You will be in a strange hallway
you will turn completely
past the gilded lobby
there will appear before you
a door, reach up with your fingers
and feel. I decide to allow
It’s my familiar way: leaving
the building and thinking of you
in Buenos Aires I realize I don’t want
to ask when you’re coming home
or where home will be for fear
of becoming expectant.
The wetness of spring
is light and weight at once;
the blades of grass are bent
by gleaming beads of rain.
I walk by a bunch of teenage boys
leaving a track meet, loud, sharp and salty
and as we pass, one of their hands
brushes mine. I am always