Circa 1976: Ten-Ten And Ten-Seven Shape

As he moves that ball with varsity record breaking speed

across (or is it down?) the field of scrimmage closer to the

goalposts than it has been any other time tonight,

no one on the coaching staff suspects---

not the referee, nor the umpire, nor the line judge notice---

and the crowd gathered here to cheer, or curse, or wager is

unable to understand---that he has secreted your socks,

from last night, within his uniform so that he can feel

your presence right there with him as he moves the same way

that passion moves through your flesh when you look at him.

He has promised the game and the victory to you,

even thought he cannot yet publicly declare that; yet.

But something of you is next to something of his (he has

 pasinsisted on this since the season and school year began)

you, the kid who could never run fast enough

to avoid a failing grade in gymn class,

or a beating on the elementary school's playground;

the chub . . . nerd . . . four-eyes . . . faggot . . .

assiduously courted by the captain of the football team

(three weeks before you agreed to have lunch with him;

another week before the first date;

and about ten minutes into it before the first kiss and grope).

Now, as part of his morning routine, he leaves his shoes

in his locker, before first period class begins;

flaunting his floor-grimed pastel socks in classes, and in

the corridors between them, because pastels and socks

please you, and that is enough to motivate him.

(And none of the teachers, who have not missed this

detail dare reprimand him---that winning streak, that

crowns his senior year, means much to them as well.)

Matching chains around his neck and yours bear

exchanged class rings.  Someday, that will not need to be

so cautiously surreptitious; but today is not that day.

Your parents have already left for a weekend out of town.

They are quite tacitly aware of the sleepover pending.

He will arrive later tonight, his heart pounding

(and not from the athletic exertions you watch him perform

now).  The carry out pizza will be steaming hot,

and the metaphor is not lost on either one of you.

You taught him what those poetic strategies are;

he tells everyone who will listen how much you have

helped him to study---although, before September,

he had not seemed to need much academic tutoring.

After consuming pizza and several cold colas,

one of those old horror movies from the thirties---

on the local Shock Theater---will entertain you both

(delight in that sort of film another aspect in common).

Afterward, you will read to each other a few of

Cavafy's most erotic poems; and then, like his happiest

lovers---content in the prospect of another weekend;

of tomorrow's slow, leisurely waking in the comfort

of your bed, shared, and a naked embrace, unbroken---

you will give yourselves to your bodies' ardent desires;

and, through your bodies, the intimacy of your souls.

This is what we talked about on c.b. channel twenty-two

(my mobile, your base) as you waited at your twenty

for his car's headlights from the driveway to the

picture window, and then that eager knock on the door:

PageBoy waiting for BarefootDash---

in ten-ten and ten-seven shape.



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