“Cavafy in Palm Springs, 2014” and “Back of the House, Palm Springs”

Issue 52 by Anthony Aguero

“Cavafy in Palm Springs, 2014” and “Back of the House, Palm Springs”

Cavafy in Palm Springs, 2014

He rode in on horseback, his silky mustache

And I was worried for his life. Not that he couldn’t

Care for himself. He had strong legs, especially

The thighs. He was so impressionable among

The men. Christian took an instant liking

To the manner in which he spoke. So sure. So

Certain, a ballooned sternum of a person.

O how I wanted him too. I couldn’t let us, not he.

People came in riding on the back of Azrael,

We did too. If you asked then, I’d have denied it.

I’m not the person. I could never. Not me, gasp!

But his words, so promising. Full of life, of the milk

Of the sun. How could one so close to death

Resist such a charm? Someone offered him a gin

And I interjected with a Manhattan. I’m no savior

But I licked his ear with a few words foreshadowing

A fever that was so endless; so tragic, even his poems

Wouldn’t save his life. And so he rode away,

In the middle of night despite all of us awake.

I, the worrier of life despite the perils of my own

Meeting him in the midst of a most lonesome summer.

Back of the House, Palm Springs

there was nothing ugly that remained there.

— Cavafy

Christian asked if I could accompany him

to the pit of the house we were inside of,

which belonged to neither of us. Nothing

ever did those days; belong to us that is.

We might’ve walked hand in hand, or arm

in arm, whorled together by each step, by

the light escaping our lips as if it was just

another breath whirling on by like bread.

I tried enjoying our bodies but couldn’t.

Didn’t even have the wherewithal to notice

his hands limping far from love with me,

so we stood around in a static indifference

holding onto whatever molecules were left.

His lips were becoming blue, mine as well.

We never even noticed until it was too late;

until everything was iris and easily flaked.

We arrived to the back of a stranger’s room,

which was his house. I was devoid of any

belonging and heard only chattering teeth

from Christian and I. Our arriving to nothing.

About the Author

Anthony Aguero

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Anthony Aguero is a queer writer in Los Angeles, CA. His work has appeared, or will appear, in the Carve Magazine, Rhino Poetry, Cathexis Northwest Press, 14 Poems, Redivider Journal, Maudlin House, and others.