Desiring my boyfriend's body
Sergio A. Ortiz

I had a boyfriend once, who believed in decomposition. He told me this as we swerved in his truck, careening the back roads of Lajas, Puerto Rico, finishing the work of some come-before travelers, flattening each roadkill carcass into unrecognizability. "Less for the highway crew," he’d say.

egrets
gather at the maw
of the stream feeding
into the lake

too many to count. I thought they were solitary birds. But there they were eating the ticks of the pasturing cows. My boyfriend wouldn’t have sex with me. He didn’t believe in latex, artificial hormones, the calendar or his own control. I can’t, he said, risk bringing a life into this world I’m not prepared to care for. And I’d plead, cajole, argue for his skin and my skin, sheathed in multiple prophylactics, only succeeding occasionally.

at certain times,
lake flies clot the air, thrumming,
their mouthless bodies
my body hungers, vibrates
with no discernible control

I have a friend who careens between dark places; imagines his beloved, alternately living secret lives and love sessions with the girl of his dreams, placid, perfect, and untouched. He sets snares along the creek bed when they are in season. To harvest turtles.

you’ll need a tub
to trap that blood
an oil-slick
the meat is tender, when caught
between clades

On the river road drive to work, two cars ahead, the driver hits a squirrel, and the wind catches its body, swirling the stunned creature like a little kite. By the time we approached it the animal had regained its consciousness and was dashing to the side of the road,

dragging
the weight of itself
front paws
extended, body taut
it survives

The body wants what it wants and what I wanted was his body.

Sergio A. Ortiz is a two-time Pushcart nominee, a six-time Best of the Web nominee, and 2016/17 Best of the Net nominee. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Loch Raven Review, Drunk Monkeys, Algebra Of Owls, Free State Review, and The Paragon Journal. His chapbook, An Animal Resembling Desire will be published by Finishing Line Press.