waiting for the bell

it’s chilly for June
sitting in this afternoon Hudson breeze.

I watch the silver bell on the end of a fishing rod
excitedly ring.

a young Hispanic man rushes to the reel.
I watch
as he waits,
patiently clutching the rod.

the bell is silent.
there is only
the methodical churn
of water
and the clamor
of a ship’s rigging.

I watch him watch
the rod,
his gaze as intensely fixed
as his body,
unmoving
more hunter than fisherman.

tourists
unabashedly capture the scene
of Lady Liberty
with selfies and snaps
and Sierra and Slumber.

I watch as they make their way
down the damp boardwalk
to their dinner reservations.

but the fisherman
remains fixed.
unmoved, unshaken.
he waits for the bell to ring.

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between the static and the silence

Remember when I was little?
…why do you ask?

You don’t have no business watching drag queens
Boys don’t tweeze their eyebrows
Here, try not to buy nothing too faggoty
I heard you’re a cocksucker

Just thinking
…that’s nice

Don’t put anything up there that doesn’t belong
I watched Brokeback Mountain and didn’t know what I’d wanna fuck
What kind of gay shit is that?

I met someone
…that’s nice

Is he older than you?
I don’t condone it, but you do what you want
I suspected but didn’t wanna believe it

I want you to meet him
…that’s nice

I’m fine as long as you’re not all over each other
I’m talking about in the Lord’s eyes
I don’t wanna hear it

It didn’t work out
…I’m sorry

What do you want me to say?
I can understand how someone would end up on the wrong side
I think you could still be straight

…you still there?
Yeah, just thinking

silence
that almost lasts
forever
please say something

…that’s nice

on an early Sunday morning

on an early Sunday morning
i stand before the gate
with hair uncombed
and teeth unbrushed,
still smelling of Saturday night.

traffic sleeps soundly,
leaving the avenue
excitedly naked
like a late Saturday night
or an early Sunday morning.

and for a moment
looking past the infinite series of streets
i see a crest of trees
from where you can never see the trees.