by Chris Fernberg

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His face was carved, spotless.
Handsome and tender as honey.

I wanted his eyes.
He wanted my legs.

Old boy in tie-dye and denim.
Nails grubby, bitten to reddened stumps.

Standing on Cyan St., our salvo jackets
tossed over our shoulder Sinatra style,
throwing our Jimmy Dean looks like dice.

He told me he could only do that for the ‘right guy.’
I said I could do it right for any guy.

We would talk and invent other lives.
A Dunhill Essence draped from our lips,
smoke curdling the neon dark.
He would tap his fingers to imaginary tunes.
A beat I could never carry.

When bloated eyes would drive by,
we would strategically stretch and yawn
our shirts lifting, showing off the hungered V’s of our torso.

It could be a competition,
mostly it was for the soft serve cones
and dollar meals.

I would normally turn over more than him.
He was too fussy.

It’s because he never felt safe
Even with the regulars.

Bruised rumps wallowing in their new cars.
Burst capillary noses and shiny fat cheeks.

All bourbon breath and barking.
I’m gonna fuck you. Bend over.
Even the nice ones were cruel.

I didn’t pity them.
Actually I envied how they could be so brave.

They would pay us in cash,
smokes, pot, horse, food.

Anything we wanted.

Sometimes it could be real nice.

He got the younger ones mostly.
Effeminate and dainty,
butch and tank.

Mine were older, fatter.
Gruff growlers who liked to give it rough.

I remember coming back from a darkened
cul de sac, spitting the pillow fluff
from my mouth.

Him standing there, with a dip in his jaw.

He asked me how it was.

How big?

How much?

Did it hurt?

Not anymore.

And I remember how I wanted that dark limbo of his eyes.







And we imagine ourselves moving.

Inhabiting opaque dimensions, 

        entire worlds birthed from the fluid grace of our going.

It is not us who move;

It is the earth, shaking free its glorious, corroded petals.


It is the moon unloosing the oceans to exhale in ancient rhythms,

its limber bulk swelling then easing and thinning in foamed, craggy tresses.

It is the sun, lengthening. Lofting its great muleta to goad the trees in

        their swaying – soaking the earth in honey-light.

It is the birds. Forming skies of living rivers; dark rapids

        carrying the wind of our coming, of our going.

It is the shadows of this world, armed to bring the light into such

        feared focus. The shadows of this world forming the light of the next.

        It has never been us.


Chris Fernberg is an 18 year-old student, from Melbourne, Australia. He enjoys the music of Patti Smith and Bob Dylan. His Favorite Poet is Frank Stanford. He dreams of winning an Academy Award (although is uncertain about the category). Looks like a cross between “River Phoenix and pre-knife Mickey Rourke.”

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