Seeing Him Again

I saw him from across the way, 
across the green-lawn,
slightly tilted above the groves 
of the older and young men alike,
all bare, with their dangling arms and legs 
and groins, and just beyond 
the chlorinated pools and misting hot-tub,
it was him standing this near and far 
away — I wanted to touch his left cheek
of his handsome face but he wasn’t handsome
any longer. It’s not age that aged him,
nor the sweltering desert heat at 110 degrees,
but the length of both of his arms tracked 
down along the way, raked confusingly 
down the middle where the drugs entered.
I traced my finger down that flesh 
once and kissed it, and kissed 
him, and imagined a world silent 
and in a vineyard without danger.
Instead, he smiles at me, inviting me in,
and I understand, I do — I could suffer 
for it — the harm we were once both in.
I wasn’t driven to throw the iron 
of my warm pelvis onto him, or kiss him, 
or touch him anymore. I wanted to ask
Are you okay? And I failed.
I clutched my hand over the back
of his hand with eros and kept it there,
silently, for all the seconds of the earth
and pulled back. I pulled away as if
saying I no longer wish for harm
and I lost someone at that moment
of the last hour of the last evening
by saying my first farewell.

Anthony Aguero is a queer writer in Los Angeles, CA. His work has appeared, or will appear, in the Carve Magazine, Rhino Poetry, 14 Poems, Redivider Journal, Maudlin House, and others. He has received two Pushcart Prize nominations and has his first forthcoming collection of poetry, Burnt Spoon Burnt Honey, with Flower Song Press.