The Last Condom
From the steam, my second term Obama era boyfriend claimed showers are for lovers, baths
for the lonely. I held up the last condom from the box, a wafer for caution we forsook
after bottom shelf libations. Decades have grifted my bones, calcifying what all the uncles
dying taught me, their ash and dust. Neither of us could afford Truvada. A meteor
of unasked questions tore the wrapper, ignoring its expiration date, the mylar destined
for the Great Pacific Garbage Patch with other trash he refused to name, swirling Ivory
in his armpits twice, insisting he was almost finished, and we were fine, we were making
good choices, the condom expanding with my lust and time refusing to snap back from ash
and dust. My patella clicked when I removed my jeans and stepped in, reaching around
him for the soap, the latex squeaking in his hand. The steam softened us
inside out. Neither of us could afford an apartment with a bathtub.
I remove my N95
on the subway, inhaling
pot and urine and people
being people again. We weren’t
the same, those two years.
Our breath and musk, sparks
in this hot metal box
remind us when
I show you
where to enter, to lick
my neck and teeth and yank
my tongue at the root.
You can’t hurt me. You have my permission
to fill my mouth with smoke and piss
on my thigh, my sandaled feet,
soft with loneliness, your hands
dredging crevices salted
by those same years.
Your index slipping
inside, I don’t last
to Columbus Circle,
stumbling up stairs
into an alley, caution
a broken strap, bricks
against my back. I said, Yes
you can't hurt me.
You have my permission.