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Golden Gate Park

Tonight, walking the AIDS

memorial, I think about

the man who hydrated

his partner by feeding

him ice chips with his

mouth. Someone stumbles

down the path, maybe drunk,

maybe a little

fucked up, & I know not to make

eye contact, not to stop.

But I do stop. This man

wants to fuck

right here & now

on top of the red

earth. Back East where

I grew up, the past persists

sinister as a forest: a man hit

on another man

in a rural bar & thus

was beaten with a cast-iron pan,

laid across the tracks,

& severed by a train.

Here, his lips still sweet

from the clove

he smoked, this stranger

kisses me like those men

of our fathers’ generation

who’d rendezvous in parks

past dark. Never again

will I destroy the earth

by flood, God told Noah

after the sun broke

through, the covenant

signed in rainbow.

Once, I believed in God.

Convinced that the earth

was his own

beating heart,

I talked to him out loud

from Broken SpectreFind more by Jacques J. Rancourt at the library

Copyright © 2021 Jacques J. Rancourt
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Alice James Books.

Published in Jacques J. Rancourt Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.