I fell in love with him,
for a moment,
at the hostess stand of the Big River Grill,
because he knew what I was,
but he still kissed my cheek, and
touched his hand to the small of my back
—where New York fags tattoo sharp, unprimitive
armor into their skin—
and laughed when I told him,
under the gauzy veil of gin,
that I wanted to take him home with me.
And because he had kept his I-am-earth-friendly beard,
his Land’s End polar-fleece and flat-front khakis look,
which to me made him seem so fragile,
like the soft, sinking foam of a good beer.
There was something simple inside him,
something unrestless and successful.
I cried about it later, having wished his kindness
upon me over and over.
And I knew that I could never accuse him
of loving me back.