An idea so fleeting it’s mere outline, dim constellation.
I think of abducting you—
a consideration as gentle and banal as what fruit to buy for the week.
It’s really only the word that compels,
abduct, abducere, to lead away as if by the hand, lovingly.
As though I might roll you in a carpet and hide you
from the soldiers. The idea marches across
my mind wearing something other than the usual form
of men who wait for me outside bars,
men who walk behind me
in the darkness.
I think abduct with the languor of a sleepy mouth pressed
against a clavicle. I think
of the poem I read alone in a foreign country
at seventeen that confessed I wish
I could remember how your fingers tasted.
A series of snapshots as I want you to be, wanting
to be led.
To lead me away from myself,
from this gaping well of stone
masoned within my torso.
Not knowing you gives me this freedom. Desire lingering
like the ghostlines left by the flashbulb,
the afterimage of an image,
If we were intimate I would lose this command
over the imaginary.
But the truth. In my mind that is what you are asking me for.
I’ll tell you then:
it was the beetles at Preble Street,
husks bright as knives, spilling
from the broken bamboo stalks
at the edge of the parking lot
where as a child I crouched
in the dirt like some feral echo,
a spy on my own home, watching
the world rotate
through a chain link
fence with a sense of power
brought only by distance.
The lacerating glint of their shells—
as though their iridescence could cut.
I broke open
the stalks again and again. And the cloying
scent of magnolia
heavy as mercury in the air
and my nine year old heart a caldera
emptying and filling and emptying
with my tiny acts of witness the sky so blue
it’s turning almost green
the house peeling
its white paint while the lawnmowers
drone in the shattering sunlight and I know then
this is freedom, this loneliness.