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I’m watching the local news, rain flooding the atrophied birdbath, dreaming my hairline were feminine enough

to have made you love me. On your birthday, I watched you climb the junkyard’s pile of broken gaping TVs

as you called yourself Criticism. Your fuck your wife, shop your novel, eat ribs sopping with marinade in your car,

pray no one can hear your prayers. She was born a girl, as in, “home-court advantage,” the familiar give of the turf.

Then me, transforming in the marigold light, a newspaper headline on fire, obituaries smoking into ambiance.

I tried to learn things while missing you: bygone Grecian wars, gastronomy trends, how to recognize God in a mailman.

Cotton-candy balloons in the blue half-light of a 5000 dollar lamp; a maître d' tweezing a long red hair out of his vial of cocaine;

a man cannot become a woman without love. Or the moon, or money, or—even worse, I fear—the secret

whispered in frantic shame across a rainy picnic table. It was always you, frosted tips loverboy, or: Another tax write-off.

Some hospital crumbles in Beirut where my ancestors lived; I lick the sides of a plastic tub of Sabra garlic hummus.

I miss you like beer misses the light, like a baby misses its dark uterine abyss, like a murderer misses innards.

Your wife isn’t funny and you don’t write enough. I was one gender away from eternal love in a small apartment.

You, holding my hand on a Coney Island boardwalk bench, saying you loathed the libertine impressionism of Rimbaud’s early work.

I think of you when I am trying to live, when I am trying not to live, when I’m not trying at all.

Red sun blurring the weathervane, arcane papers in the streets. —Oh, you fucking moron. Rimbaud only had early work.