A Teenage High School Locker Room Attendant Speaks to the Men He Ogled by Tom Daley
CW: Sexual Imagery
Think of my gaze as the solvent that pools all the warmth the world skims from your loins. Think of my arms at my sides as the will that unties your audacity's spell. Think of my eyes, how they feast on the rise of your sense that my shame is miscued. Think of my nose as a rabbit that balks while a coyote untangles its scent. Think of my wrists, how they dither and flash, incited to fasten where you fall. Think of my tongue—would it ravish or sour where your kinks knot their salt with your sweat? Think of my hands—could they rankle the stretch where you moonbeam your skin into shine? Think of my eyes, think of my eyes— they still plunder and chasten your health. Think of my lips—they’ve been torn from your tap, from the menace that gangs through your thighs. Think of my gaze and pay me no mind. I have leashed you to memory’s noise. Think of my stare as a rent in the air, as a hurt that is angling for joy.
Recipient of the Dana Award in Poetry, Tom Daley’s poetry has appeared in North American Review, Harvard Review, Massachusetts Review, Fence, Denver Quarterly, Crazyhorse, Prairie Schooner, Witness, and elsewhere. FutureCycle Press published his collection of poetry, House You Cannot Reach—Poems in the Voice of My Mother and Other Poems.