those little pin feather nubs poking through your shoulders.
What could the blades make of such tufted things
no padded sweaters hid?
You say you have no idea. Your soul was upholstered
with more than adolescent ignorance secretly prolonged.
That darkness was equally intimate as your own whispered confession
& nothing else, making my eyes wide as my ears.
Sure, knowing their presence, I could picture the heavens' vast canopy
expanding over our bed, recalling also the right-side impression
there on the sheets you last left me with.
Your returning by touch itself was something I felt I must have dreamt about
or, like breath across the cheek, a caress for your throat
to realize your presence.
Wing by wing, radiance returned slowly as your bare body grew,
broader the torso & longer the limbs.
Unawares, had I called for you to ferry me here past flesh & past sickness,
past aging & the rest?
Little matter, your glow responds now, drawing me near.
Stephen Mead is an Outsider multi-media artist and writer. Since the 1990s he’s been grateful to many editors for publishing his work in print zines and eventually online. He is also grateful to have managed to keep various day jobs for the Health Insurance. Currently he is resident artist/curator for The Chroma Museum, artistic renderings of LGBTQI historical figures, organizations and allies predominantly before Stonewall, The Chroma Museum.