In my hand your genitals: your words
tangled, thick hair, your lovely, uncut—
I ask permission to name—
cock, you permit—
& it enters & leaves, enters
& leaves, enters & leaves—I
am breathing. Mourning comes
in little waves as desire comes
in little waves: O—to let my mouth
be a site for feeling!
In Tagalog, I tell you, there's a word
for this fullness—Sagad: to the hilt,
as in a sword or a screw.
And just like that, violence
punctures the field of conversation.
But let it be transmutable, as when you,
sagad in me, say ram & ride,
I think of clouds above Manila
with its sky-flung blue, & sweat,
a tropic bloom city street folded metal
painted Virgin Mary palm-prayer pink—
The breath moves, pain
moves along with it. My throat,
then the branches of my lungs. Soon
the disembodiment the act of naming
can be gives way to the warm
fogginess of staying, a slow,
low atmosphere. Here. In this body,
as it meets your body, there is a rhythm
like knowing & unknowing,
asking, then waiting to be answered.
Once, my kiss wasn't with lips
but with an O'Hara poem I fumbled
in the dark, half-memorized, to you.
To be the child in the poem, weeping
in the bathtub, just as lost, but feeling okay
with not returning to myself, as myself was,
just a few moments ago, before I,
longing, kissed you.
- Aldrin Valdez (from The Offing)