The wide afternoons of Before were over
The moment the door was left open and the complex was briefly silent.
I know for certain one moment must always follow another, but
There was only After after that.
There are gifts in different degrees
I’m trying to picture one.
(Was it only one?)
I’m trying to picture—
Can I just say
It’s hard to call a boy beautiful and not offend him in some way
It’s hard to call a boy a boy and not offend him in some way
But offend is the last thing I would do—
What I’m trying to picture is
Three flights of stairs were worth this
Waiting was worth this.
It’s always seemed so brave to me
That people kiss with their eyes closed
Without a doubt the event is occurring
But I peeked twice to be sure.
(Does that mean I’m not brave?)
It was more than one gift after all
It was a collection of them.
Not unlike a museum curator, I am trying
Not only to picture
But to preserve
The collection of gifts
If it can be given
If it can be kept.