Essex Hemphill & Robert Mapplethorpe
Meet in Hades: A Duet
                                                                                      —Greg Marzullo
 

That desire is gone.
forbidden,
retreating
rushing
beneath my feet.


defiance,
aglow
shoveled into the furnace
blundering over the ocean
but once

 

 

Not really.                                                                       
You?


I wonder who’s left
up there.

 

 

fuck?

Maybe we did
fuck
.

I don’t remember. 

Do you—

Me, neither,
but I meant

do you dream?
I dream about
pictures

in a darkroom
with a blinking red bulb,
the chemicals sloshing
in apothecary bottles, the smell
like men’s cologne. I’m
blind.

here.
cologne or
I wander
city. Somewhere the subway
and men cruise the park



W
ere we


Yes.




Yes.


Maybe.

 

That rage is gone.
That desire
rapacious
like a wave
back

Prestige,
accomplishment
like coal
on a rusted steamship
never finding port
in each lifetime.


Do you
remember it?


No. I don’t think so.


Not many
by the looks of it
down here.

Did we— 
Doubtful. I meant
know each other.





wanna fuck?
No. 


Yes. 
I’m writing
with a vulture’s pinion
dipped in India ink
but in foreign characters,
something like Pali
maybe Cyrillic. I’m
illiterate.

I wake up
There’s no
ink.
up and down a snowy
slides on rails of ice
for memories.



lovers?



Maybe.

Or enemies.
 


Greg Marzullo

Greg Marzullo is an award-winning writer and journalist who has written for the Washington BladeLambda Literary and the Phoenix New Times, among other publications. He won a Society for Professional Journalists award for arts criticism; poetry publications include Origins Literary JournalBayou MagainzeArkana and HIV Here & Now

ISSN 2472-338X
© 2018