glbtq: the online encyclopedia of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer culture

Joshua Thompson

There was a conversation we never had because the hour was always late. You would greet me weakly, trembling as you came through the door. You worried aloud about your work and your home. I listened to you, calmed you. I gave you something to drink. You would take off your shoes, fold your clothes and place them all near the door. I turned up the heat because you were often very cold. You muttered and hummed when inside of me and you whispered while getting up to dress. You sung quietly in the shower on those days that you took one. I felt domestic putting out towels for you. Once you paced naked through the room and told stories that made little sense on their own but wove together like the threads of a rug. We never spoke of holidays or dates. We rarely spoke of the time. I never stopped you with questions because I could not hear what you might have said. A few afternoons you left quickly and on these days, I alone smoothed down the sheets. I alone cracked open the window. I alone seemed troubled by the stink of us. On these days, the air did not clear up, the sheets did not come clean. I paced through the room until I had to leave. I left my little house and parked near yours. I watched for a lamp to switch on, a dog to be walked; for someone to come home. I looked for the children I cannot give you and the woman I cannot be. There were days I spent in my garden because I had nowhere else to go. I would sometimes hear car sounds and bits of conversation through the trees. I wanted to mistake these for your arrival but I knew better. I heard so many things I wanted to mistake for you. I met you through a friend I no longer have. I had not known him long when he made the introductions and you offered me your hand. At the time I knew he was passing me off to you but I am still not sure what made him want to. At first, you stayed late and slept deeply in my bed. I sat up alone breathed in the smell of us. Heat in the room was a fever on my skin; the windows fogged and dripped. I stood naked while my wet fingers wrote you letters on the glass. My hope was that you might open your eyes one day and read them.



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