After All These Years You Know They Were Wrong about the Sadness of Men Who Love Men

by Aaron Smith

Aaron Smith

It's Palm Springs and you've slipped away
from a day of swimming and drinking to lie
for a minute with your eyes closed
in the other room while the air-conditioner
moan-groans outside the window—your body
chilled from sunburn and untouched
for months. Startled from near sleep
you hear a crash
of laughter, man-laughter, the slapping
of bare backs, hands smacking
the skin of men drying
by the pool or making hamburgers
in the kitchen or solving a puzzle
on the glass table in twilight—
Does anybody need another drink?
and laughter. The pizza's here;
Can I have a cigarette?
Pass the pretzels and your name:
Has anyone seen Aaron?
You don't say anything but listen to the man
saying your name—Soon someone will be sent
to look for you, and you'll pretend
to be sleeping, say you must have dozed off,
you'll rejoin the party soon but need
another minute. You want
to remember this. You've waited
your whole life for them to miss you.

Last updated November 07, 2022