Two Bills, two Wills, a William, a Willis, a kind of halo constantly circling my ruptured head formed from an alphabet of eyelashes, of lumpy unfamiliar queen-sized beds, of last nights and tomorrow nights and that Tuesday lunch hour with Aaron at the airport Marriott, two Adams, a Benjamin, a Bennett, the beginning little more than the idea of the idea there must be more than my sore sorry self, a Stephen, a Steve, two Sams, a Brad, Joshua the bona fide storm trooper, Joshua the soon-to-be preacher, the wide-mouthed zippers, the sloppy courage conjured by six beers on an empty stomach, a Monty who, while kissing his way to my waist admitted a little too brightly believe-it-or-not-I’m-married, a Markus, two too many Michaels, a Mathew with one T and two piss slits, three Johns, a James, each name led to and laced through its own story until the two are merely the memory, the endless mending of the memory until only a spangled bit of the true or rotten remains, Andrew with the badly behaved poodle, Anthony with the beautiful asshole, two Christophers—one a bargain, the other a blunder—a Tanner and a Miller, two vaguely Dutch craftsmen equally skilled in the art of ignition and delay, a Danny, a Darren, the desire drawn up out of the dream of raw possibility, of plenty, of famine, a Jeffery, a Jeremy, an incurable inclination towards the maimed or unattainable or suspiciously long sideburns, a Blake, a Zack, all of the unnamed, the ones who now only exist in fumy, inkjet flashbacks—a balcony with a view of the tugboats swarming Jersey, a pair of nipples like pastel mini-marshmallows—a Nathan, a Neil—if I never loved any of you I hope you never knew it, will never know it, and after all of it what did I expect?—A Sean, a Sebastian, a Seth.
Noah Michelson received his MFA in Poetry from New York University. He has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies, including The Best American Erotic Poetry 1800–Present, edited by David Lehman, The New Republic and The Beloit Poetry Journal, among others. He is the Executive Editor of The Huffington Post Gay Voices. Follow him at @NoahMichelson.