They are like those crazy women who tore Orpheus when he refused to sing, these men grinding in the strobe & black lights of Pegasus. All shadow & sound. "I'm just here for the music," I tell the man who asks me to the floor. But I have held a boy on my back before. Curtis & I used to leap barefoot into the creek; dance among maggots & piss, beer bottles & tadpoles slippery as sperm; we used to pull off our shirts, & slap music into our skin. He wouldn't know me now at the edge of these lovers' gyre, glitter & steam, fire, bodies blurred sexless by the music's spinning light. A young man slips his thumb into the mouth of an old one, & I am not that far away. The whole scene raw & delicate as Curtis's foot gashed on a sunken bottle shard. They press hip to hip, each breathless as a boy carrying a friend on his back. The foot swelling green as the sewage in that creek. We never went back. But I remember his weight better than I remember my first kiss. These men know something I used to know. How could I not find them beautiful, the way they dive & spill into each other, the way the dance floor takes them, wet & holy in its mouth.
Terrance Hayes - 1971-
Derrick Poem (The Lost World)
I take my $, buy a pair of very bright kicks for the game at the bottom of the hill on Tuesday w / Tone who averages 19.4 points a game, & told me about this spot, & this salesman w / gold ringed fingers fitting a $100 dollar NBA Air Avenger over the white part of me–my sock, my heel & sole, though I tell him Avengers are too flashy & buy blue & white Air Flights w / the dough I was suppose to use to pay the light bill & worse, use the change to buy an Ella Fitzgerald CD at Jerrys, then take them both in a bag past salesmen & pedestrians to the C where there is a girl I'd marry if I was Pablo Neruda & after 3, 4 blocks, I spill out humming "April in Paris" while a lady w / a 12 inch cigar calls the driver a facist cuz he won't let her smoke on the bus & skinny Derrick rolls up in a borrowed Pontiac w / room for me, my kicks & Ella on his way to see The Lost World alone & though I think the title could mean something else, I give him some skin & remember the last time I saw him I was on the B-ball court after dark w / a white girl who'd borrowed my shorts & the only other person out was Derrick throwing a Spalding at the crooked rim no one usually shoots at while I tried not to look his way & thought how we used to talk about black women & desire & how I was betraying him then creeping out after sundown with a girl in my shorts & white skin that slept around me the 5 or 6 weeks before she got tired of late night hoop lessons & hiding out in my crib there at the top of the hill Derrick drove up still talking, not about black girls, but dinosaurs which if I was listening could have been talk about loneliness, but I wasn't, even when he said, "We should go to the movies sometime," & stopped.