Let me say I stank like the rim of hell in all my lust
and would have blushed at my own heat
if not for the shameless eagerness in his eyes.
The world is full of lovely but tragic boys.
Get me on the joy bus, I said.
Nobody ever really rides the joy bus.
He prepared a place for me in empty houses,
received me in the shaded summer lawns,
wrapped in our own light jackets at the riverbottoms,
hid in manzanita clumps, the brake, the brittlefern,
in the foyer of a Pentecostal church
where we took our gladness to spite the pious,
took the praise of God as an offering of our bodies,
each of us crouched in the doorway in turn,
mouth to the vine, lips to the eucharist,
flesh of my astonished flesh.
Jon, my elder; Jon my boy.
The body is dead to us: naughty, then gone.
Suffer me to kiss thy mouth, Jon; I will kiss thy mouth.
Let him be born of every ash that glows
in the oil drums of winter parks.
Let lesions disappear, let brittle bones be knit.
Let the integrity of every artery be restored.
There is no God but that which visits us
in skin and thew and pleasing face.
He offers up this body. By this body we are saved.