At night my body woke and roamed the sum
of streets. Behind shop windows, old men aged
defending countertops and daily waged
fathers hunched over woks. The streets were dumb.
Inside a bar, young gods swallowed their rum
and coke, working sweet mouths, throats, barely caged
in filled-out shirts. I sat alone, loved, raged
until I heard Cavafy whisper “Come
this way.” Then I felt like Xerxes when a low
Hellene revealed the local thoroughfare;
or like a shy suitor who turned to go
but recognized the stranger on the stair
and followed. In his room, he held me—Oh!
relieved me of myself, wet underwear.