To examine heartbreak I return to myself
at nineteen, despair in the guise of a party.
Looking on the roof for my love, I stumble
backwards, wavering above the street, halfway
already falling, halfway still clinging to the grit,
the dancing bodies through the bright window,
the ring around the moon: indifferent.
Familiar whispering across the roof:
a cord at the throat. How do we survive it?
My friend Collis, in a box of light, swearing,
called me finally toward him,
pulled me in across the sill, a small bird
gathered out of the windy dark,
gathered back into the glaze of desire.
Collis Ricardo Jaxon, who ran with me for miles
on roads outside of town, ran on Michelob and menthol smokes,
who became a man and became a man chained,
who like me loved crickets and his body and his name.