POETRY June 3, 2022

The Birdwatcher

[cw: sexual content, dysphoria, dysmorphia]

so this is what they call boning, I would say, had the mood been at all ripe for jokes.

instead I shut up and watch. bodies are coming together. no time to talk.
I press one with each hand and dig into hipbones at the first push. see: a
bird-man under me. another by my side, reddening my mouth with his. I
never want anything soft when I’m fucking. so perhaps this is what it is.

I bird-watch

bird-men, bird-men. and their bird-frame. they move without a sound,
their flesh glued to their hollow bones. no matter how hard the thrusts.

you’d think I’d have grown up and moved on.

I watch them kiss

(and their reddened throats) and strange phrases bounce around my ribcage, the
only one with flesh around it. not much flesh. not that i’m very soft either.
not that you have to dig me much for hipbones either, but I watch them kiss
and stranger phrases even come ashore, written for the two men before me:
and their skinny love.

I watch them undress

each other’s mirrored bodies, reach for each other’s cocks, mouths hungry
for a bite. this third I know, at least. I walk the streets the very same faggot
as them. but in bed with those two men, choose to cover my face, to fold, to
find some dignity and (call it cost sunk down my esophagus) count my losses.

I watch them move.

naked. warm with morning sweat. my skin offered last, as customary. the ritual
sigh. the sweet, the tender shame. I’d keep their hands off me–it’d be easier if I didn’t love it. or loved
it less. and anyway, what’s the point of fucking, then? if there’s no body inside me? nobody against me,
and why does it matter, the bones, the cocks, the stock my dreams are made of?

my body cost thousands to fix and still looks nothing as desirable as theirs. the
sex coherent, convenient. this is not a new thought. I am no stranger to such
bedside considerations, but it’s easier with one alone–this early or this much
or this late–the wing folds of the jay in me. romeo, romeo,
romeo, at such strange hours I see both nightingale and lark:

watch them

                        soar against each other’s chests,
                                                                            /and then me/
                                                                                               the bone-carved birds taking flight.

A writer and translator, Adam D.H currently lives in Berlin. His word has recently appeared in Unlikely Stories LitMag and Book of Matches. When he is not thinking about homosexual love, addiction, multilingual poetics, and memory, he is usually baking.