“St. Sebastian” by Antonio Giorgetti (Creative Commons)

Antonio Giorgetti



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from the beginning there was a word
a word I could sing as you played the piano
a word I could say in a voice for the bedroom
a word I could set to the right of the silver
close to the pepper & salt on your table

& I could become genuflecting before you
your table & serve you your meals on my back
kept warm by the word that was burning inside me
& after your entrée I’d make you a canopy
softer than skin more pliant than leather

able to hold you & willing to stay for as
long as you wanted me sprawling before you
there as you listened to Chopin inventions
on digital disk while savoring crystal
flutes of Veuve Cliquot in the evening

knowing the word was the key the foundation
the legs of your footstool the kick of your speakers
C sharp desiring your orchestration
the blonde effervescences of the champagne
you drank as I savored the word in its sweetness

& when you were tired of your candelabras
& fiery pianos & stereophonics
you’d touch the first improvisational quarter
notes of the night’s exploratory scherzo
play on my body a victory concerto

I heard the applause of the stars in your playing
felt meteors striking the face of the planet
saw lava erupt from the void of a blindfold
there between darkness & light was the word
ascending from sensual hellfire to heaven

filling my ears with its promise of safety
the safeword my savior made flesh was spoken
abruptly you stopped & the music fell silent
I slept I awoke I was sore & alone
I wept for the word in the dark had no end