I Remember (guest poem by Romeo C. – IG @_romeoji)

I’ve been finding you through every single thing I come across.

My skin tingles in the middle of the night because it remembers the way your arms snaked around my waist, limbs entangled in a warm, romantic mess. The weight of your body pressed against mine, snuggled under a blanket of I-love-yous, of course with the constant interruption of my unruly hair tickles your soft cheeks.

The nape of my neck remembers your hot breath and I still laugh instinctively when my ears remember your snores that to me, sounded like a melody unique to you. It fit you.

The edges of my lips that remember yours – cracked and thin pressed lift instinctively when my eyes remember when they first met yours – warm, brown like milk chocolate and oh so comfortable like the blankets on your bed I had never wanted to escape.

Your voice, it brings a pang to my heart. I loved your laugh, I love your laugh – the words that made me fall for you, their vibrations still etched on my heart bleeding as if carved there yesterday:

“I feel like I can put effort into you”

“You’re my life”

“I never want to leave you”

“I love you”

I smile and say I’m okay.

I scoff when I read that you’ve missed me

but deep inside I want to reply that I’ve missed you so much too and wouldn’t hesitate to burn to ashes in your embrace again.

Two Kings (an excerpt)

Once upon a time, there was a very small boy that lived in a very big kingdom way at the top of the world. The very small boy was an only child, but he wasn’t lonely. He had a governor that spent every waking hour with the very small boy. As a matter of fact, the very small boy couldn’t remember a time when the governor wasn’t at his side. The very small boy even remembered the first smiling face he saw when he first opened his eyes; it was that of his governor.

One night after dinner, the governor entered the very small boy’s very large bedroom. The very small boy was standing next to the very tall window looking outside at the very large mounds of snow.

“What are you looking at?” the governor asked while walking into the room.

With a deep sigh, the very small boy said, “The same thing I look at every day.”

“Which is what, exactly?” the governor prompted.

And with another deep sigh, the very small boy said, while looking out the very tall window in the very big kingdom at the top of the world, “Exactly nothing.”

And with another deep sigh the very small boy began to imagine other places that were not covered by snow; warm places with sand dunes; tropical places with oceans.



Loving Men-Mark

Sometimes you can meet people on the internet. And sometimes those people can impact you in ways you never expected.

I was introduced to Mark on Grindr.



“You looking?”

“Might be, depends.”

“On what?”

“On what I find.”

“You found me.”

“No, you found me.”

“Oh, not your type?”

“What type are you?”

“21, 6’4″, 240 pounds.”

“Big boy, aren’t you?”


“I don’t usually date guys over 6’1″.”


“Because I’m 6’1″.”

“Oh. So, no?”

“No. Not necessarily. You’re young in comparison.”

“In comparison to what?”

“To me, We’re a lifetime apart.”

“That’s what I want.”

“What’s that?”

“Your lifetime. Your wisdom. I can’t wait to get where you are.”

“Don’t wish your life away.”

“I’m not wishing it away. I’m giving it away.”

“You shouldn’t do that.”

“Why not?”

“Because my life is my life. Your life is yours. They’re not the same.”

“I’m afraid.”

“Of what? Your life? Are you kidding?”

“Don’t make fun of me.”

“I’m sorry. I was afraid of my life when I was 21.”


“Are you kidding? Everyone your age is afraid of life.”

“Are you?”

“Not any more. There’s not much more that can hurt me now.”

“How come?”

“Because everything I thought would hurt me has hurt me. Those skeletons and stories and lovers are behind me. I’m an amalgamation of my life.”

“Can’t you just give me some?”

“Listen baby, they won’t fit; they’re the wrong size.”

Loving Men-Attention

You never know how much you miss something until it’s returned.

My day with Pup was brief. Eight hours at best. But in those 640 minutes, my attention was drawn across a table, to the driver’s seat, towards a melting gelato. Everywhere but on myself.

When we left the museum, Pup put his hand on my thigh and I picked it up and studied holdinghandshis naked arm, the long shimmering hair that flowed like a river in one direction, and when combed opposite, like the hair on his head, sprung stubbornly back like a rip current.

After dinner, the server gave me a box for my leftovers. Pup watched as I slowly shoveled my pulled pork into the container. All at once Pup said, “Here, give me that for God’s sake,” and expeditiously scooped my cooled meal into the styrofoam.

“When I was a kid we had a lot of leftovers,” he said, “but you didn’t know what was in the containers, so I used my fingernail, like this, to write what’s inside,” as he inscribed the styrofoam cover.

As we sat in the parking lot of my hotel, Pup and I were both turned and leaning against our seats, heads tilted against the headrests, easily looking at the other. “What?” Pup asked.

“Nothing,” I replied quietly.

“Why are you staring?” he pointed.

“Because you’re staring,” I said and turned away.

Aware of my correction, Pup put his hand on my thigh and caressed it.

“I was embarrassed that I got caught,” he said.

“It’s called affection, Pup,” I said.

“It’s called attention, Harlan. People don’t give it away as generously as you do,” Pup replied.


Loving Men-Ghosts

In my sleep, I’m haunted by ghosts.

Sometimes it’s Luciano; he’s come home late after an evening with friends. I hear the IMG_0358door close and I can hear the clang of his belt as the weight of his pockets draws his jeans to the floor; I can feel his shirt being stripped from his torso like cellophane; then our bed tilts like a little rowboat as he lifts the comforter and slides in behind me. “Hijo,” I whisper, “did you have fun with your friends?”

“Si,” Luciano whispers between light kisses on my throat and shoulder, “Si, Papi, but I missed you,” he continues, his kissing becoming more determined.

“I’m asleep,” I whisper while rolling onto my back, feeling his weight rise, then fall atop me. In the darkness, I can feel his humidity, I can feel his breathy stare. “I’m not IMG_0345handsome now,” I whisper. “Jajaja, Papi,” he whispers into my ear, softly purring, “You’re always handsome.”

My hands drift to his strong flanks which remain bathed in cotton, my fingers delve into the fabric, beneath it, finding his strong buttocks. I pull him closer, wanting IMG_0367his entire weight atop me, pushing my breath from my lungs. He lifts himself up from me, then lowers himself into a comfortable position, moving his hips delicately.

We’ve ridden on this train before. It always takes us to some far-flung destination; across valleys and up across mountains; through treacherous, snow drifted passes; then down deep into pastoral valleys.

But this night, this ghostly night, no trip will be taken.

This night, like so many aching nights, my Luciano is only a mirage.