Hymn I — Mulberries

by Brian Fuchs

I didn't know then what I didn't know,
what I wanted to know.
Desire was reserved for cartoons on Saturday morning
and drinking our bowls of fruity cereal flavored milk.
The bowl would be abandoned next to those of
brothers, and we would go outside for the day,
exploring the spaces already familiar.
We would eat mulberries until we felt sick,
or we would run down to the
wooded area where ours met the adjacent street.
My days were spent being alone in groups,
keeping to myself and drifting off in to the clouds,
thinking about how beautiful everything is.

A smell wakes me from the foggy daydreams
of childhood. The ends are pulling at me,
I'm remembering experiences I haven't had.
Leather and old cologne… and sweat.
Absence and anticipation compete for the space,
waiting is agony when the body has been
unlocked, when the ignorance melts away.

I'm searching through faces,
looking for cowboy boots (I think)
or the smell of fruity cereal and milk.
I'm waiting to feel hands on my skin,
imagining them rough and gritty, remembering
a feeling I'm still anticipating. I know these things now,
I feel them in my heart and in my groin.

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
that saved a wretch like me
I was once lost
but now I'm found
Was blind
but now I see

I want to conceal the existence of my youth,
but I want to share stories about morning cartoons
on exhausted weekend mornings when he and I
would rather stay in bed than face the lives that existed
before one another, without one another.
These days before him are long, full of longing.
My skin is eager for the feeling of another's skin.
I'm searching through faces,
forcing myself into crowds,
looking for the boots, cologne, memories, dawn.
I am looking for a man with bad habits,
who I can grow to resent, a person who doesn't want me.
I can still taste the mulberries
and I can already feel his body.


Author's Note: This is a rewrite of an older poem from 2000.

Posted on 08/30/2018
Copyright © 2020 Brian Fuchs

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