by Zhuang Yisa

You are finally alone, back in the apartment
you share with the boys you walk the streets with.

You gave them a glance before closing your door,
as if to say Yes, what else is new?

but all you really cared for was the soft touch
of your yet-to-be-washed mattress

on your aching back, the one you bought
with what little you got from your first trick,

the one that is still unsoiled by memories
of the first person you would ever make love with

(as opposed to just getting fucked).
That person, you hope, with what little hope you have left,

would look like Vin Diesel, who hangs shirtless
and wet on the wall facing the mirror.

You tell yourself you will never give this fantasy up.
As to why, you are completely clueless.

Time for a last cigarette; you tell yourself
you will shower in the morning, let the scent of his

expensive eau de cologne
linger while it lasts.

As you inhale the nicotine
and its illusory respite, you survey

disinterestedly the skinny frame caught
within the larger, sturdier frame of the mirror:

you should start hitting the gym,
and save up for eggs and whey,

instead of clubbing it all away,
or setting it on fire at cash-registers of designer goods stores –

or buying gifts you could ill-afford
for those whom you believed would

reciprocate with something more meaningful,
such as love, or at the very least, desire.

Yes, you should do all that. And you will,
trapped as you are in your present resolution.

Behind you, Vin Diesel’s chest expands
and contracts, as if he, too, has come alive.

But you are too smart to be fooled by the breeze.
Or so you allow yourself to think.

But it is too quiet to think anymore
sense. So you shut your eyes

and you are travelling with both arms
held tight around Vin Diesel’s sturdy shoulders:

lovers on the run, one lonely bike
rattling down the dark road

penetrated by a single headlight: memories
of happiness you have lost forever

when you came for the very first time
into your father’s mouth. Or so you thought.


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