Arts & Culture / Health / Politics / The Reading Room / Vol. 2 No. 1-2

Last Night While I was Dreaming

Charles Frederick, Una Noche del SIDA

Image Credit: Charles Frederick, Una Noche del SIDA, 2018, Courtesy of the artist

last night while I was dreaming

                two of my dearest friends (old loves) visited me (needing a place to stay they said         as
had once always been so)

                                                   (long ago, now, they both had died from AIDS)

they were each in two different rooms each lying in a large bed with brilliantcoolwhitesheets/ in
each room/ lying on suns/ pouring out light (haloes around their aurora of brownandgolden
bodies)

so in each room/ I lay down next to him/ still naked for him

(the way only love can make you and     forever naked      just to say exposed is far too
innocent and imprecise a word       lacking the fullness of all shame all need all eagerness
all that is tender all that is ferocious all that is both fleeting and forever now/ without a
tomorrow without a past)

I held him close/ brushed his red hair with my hand/ kissed his eyelids his brow his ears his nose
his mouth

             his neck/ his chest (every ocean beach in the world is a different color and shape
and reason to be/ I noticed absently/
             just like every man=s bare geography of chest)

             my naked cock (slowly rising like from an underwater depth     we existed in a fluid
realm of space and time wherewewerewhere   neverwantingmore      (never wanting either of
them to go from here)     caresses/always going      from room to room      (we had once been
a trio/ of three boyos)     my cock also swelling from within with not blood but the warm water
I noticed in my eyes     I was crying

             but nowthedream presented me with a problem of impossible logic (I was surprised but I
was always the one relied on/ to find our way out of the labyrinth/ of our caprices) this time I
didn=t know how to solve     neither of them knew they had died    neither of them knew the
other had died

                                                                (neither of them knew death/ as I did with them everynewday
gone)

              and I began to wonder first     how would  I tell them/ shouldn=t they be allowed to know?

              but then (suddenly the dream asked) was it true?

(how could it be so/ when their bodies still felt/ so whole and well and aroused in my arms (we
dreamed together)    how? since it was still exactly the same as I had always said/ I never wanted
to let them go (we dreamed) their smiles of agreement evolving in expanding concentric/ oval
waves of water/ spreading larger and larger and larger/ even with the coins on their eyes)

the only thing true was      the how the way   I loved them was    the all that would ever be (or ever
true)   the I could never

leave the dark fluid space of them/and us/ even though this sleep/ was so full of sorrow/ so full of
dread/ perhaps that was where/ I had always wanted to stay/ in this dream/ regardless of its price/
at least with them/ perhaps too/ in death (and I decided I would never tell them) please don=t
wake me up please please don=t let them/ ever know

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