• Stone Angel in Flight •
from The Decay of the Angel, 1987

The house still resounds
With the echoes of your last farewell
Before retiring to the sanctity
Of your solitary chamber.

I remember – how could I ever forget –
That vision of you, newly returned
From the gym: long copper legs
Dark haired to grey shorts,
And the low line of a light-blue sweatshirt
Showing clavicle, and the soft start
Of an unhaired chest
Reaching down past unaroused brown nipples
To the lightly furred entrance
Of a shallow navel.

I remember: the all-pervading warmth
Of your smooth grasp – save for the fear,
Arousing, and you led me through
The paces of your martial art.
So newly learned that evening.
How painful the seeping heat
Of an unclothed thigh, rubbing
Innocently on my leg, almost…

I remember: the motions of undressing
From the corner of my eye, the edge
Of my temptation.
Slowly, as cloth descended,
Skin nearly white under electric lamps.
Then, as you turned away from me,
Quick glimpses of a heavy muscle,
Large but unerect, and a wiry fuzz of hair,
Glans wrapped securely in satin flesh.

I remember: almost visible the flames
Of my subconscious fear – made real
In your most cruel experiment.
But men are not rats in a cage
And will can overcome the physical
And after all, my vision can still return
In the night-privacy of my own room,
Safe from your ideals of cross and nail.