The room had a mattress on the floor
and a torn sheet, two cigars
in a plastic ashtray,
and it smelled of your armpits –
the oiled scent of a man alone for too long,
and I entered your loneliness like a wife
goes to her lover,
a bouquet of flowers between her thighs,
and you tasted like a mouthful
of copper pennies,
and it was winter and the ice was forming
on the window and your heater
crackled and spit and burned the air
and you said kiss me,
and my young nipples
rose to know your mouth.
All these years later,
a thousand and twenty five years later,
I still carry your smell between my thighs
like Paris & Helen,
like Beatrice and Dante –
so that when I am with someone new,
you are in the cracks in my neck,
that spot behind my kneecaps
the tips of my fingers you sucked
until you reached my open palm
so that now when any man touches me
they are touching you,
all of us drunk on the desire of the ages,
the AD and the BC of Desire,
the undoing of the corset of desire,
the flat bellied youth of desire
and the soft aging flesh of desire,
the apple still fresh in the first mouth of desire –
drunk on the loneliness and the lust
and the sweet dewey smell
of the first morning of the world.