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.