Gold Bond powder all over the bathroom,
dusting cologne bottles and the Q-tips container
in typical cut-outs from haunted-house furnishings,
dropped cocaine spread airborne on a triple sneeze.
This is late night and early morning, treating rashes,
a red raw groin area; it’s time to fuck the dermatologist,
allow him fifteen minutes past the surface. He’s one of us,
cocksucker and proud of it, in his white medical drag,
all clean-cut and effeminate wearing glasses and penny loafers.
He’s seen the goods when I opened my robe—wine-colored
and out of a plastic bag, the tie fell off; I held it closed.
These things on paper, wrinkled beneath naked.
Legs folded, a secretary in a miniskirt, no drunk
celebrity exiting a front seat. Wishing upon
the brightest lamp, fastened to the wall,
attached to a crane. Please not bites,
bed bugs in the mattress, this city
under attack, these villains hidden
in clothing, couches, even computers.
Let Roscoe the Beagle sniff them out for you.
My fourth HIV test since March, tomorrow afternoon,
that load jerked out over my face, a phlegm-ball-sized
gob on my fresh chapped lip; ghost droppings drip clear,
ectoplasm licked quick or the second time that rough trade
tried to fuck bare, first messing, then entering, slid inside,
a wet centipede shot through a crack in wood paneling.
By candlelight I told him, “Just don’t come in my ass.”
A prescription for a cream with a steroid in it,
and something else to eliminate jock itch,
a wicked case; he’s suggesting powder
for hot days dampening underwear,
half-hour runs on treadmills, multiple squirts
of lube mixing with sweat, friction, loose muscles,
pubic stubble rug-burning my inner thighs, low hangers
smothering my spread crack, séances in the bedroom,
imagined invaders digesting life beneath clean sheets.
Gold Bond clouds when slapped in special places,
fog-forms fall like spirits crossing over, circles
of white on a black dirty towel, hard-to-see
swirls caught by the fan take off
past the window screen, the no’s,
the yes’s, the aging all over me.
Footprints in it,
just another faggot.
Robert Siek is the author of Purpose and Devil Piss (Sibling Rivalry, 2013) and the chapbook Clubbed Kid (New School, 2002). His poems have appeared in journals including Assaracus, Chelsea Station, Columbia Poetry Review, Court Green, The Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide, The Good Men Project, The Nervous Breakdown, Mary, Painted Bride Quarterly, and VACZINE, as well as the anthology Between: New Gay Poetry. He lives in Brooklyn and works as a production editor at a large publishing house in Manhattan.
This poem originally appeared in Purpose and Devil Piss and is reprinted with kind permission of Sibling Rivalry Press.