Published in fields magazine
“In the South Pacific They’re Cyclones or Typhoons”
for Nelson 1950 - 1990
Googling you, you’re on the Harvard Medical In Memoriam page,
your name, class, date -- nothing more; and I remember the sharpness
of your eyes, the timbre of your voice, your perfected body.
“From Hawaii,” you said, “but Polynesian,” and from then on you were Rapa Nui
Moai wrapped in nautilus pearl, your amber agate smoothed over proud armor, and I
remember your awkward kiss, your lightning smile, your getting-down-to-business.
Doctor, triathlete, bromeliad king, I remember where we met, and moments
among your residency hours, your twenty-k runs, your two-mile swims, moments
in books and gardens and cafes after demolishing me on the tennis court, hushed
moments on the trundle bed in your rented room, a jalousied efficiency off your aunt’s
bungalow, in the dark movie theater where you still couldn’t hold my hand, “I don’t do…”
you whispered with a slight laugh, “Romance.” And I remember, that was that.
I kept your Cavafy inscribed by the previous man who’d left; the last time
I saw you with your new Jock Bro, I wished you well, though not out loud.