You don’t remember me, Lucio,
my peach-faced lovebird left
partnerless. Now you prefer
compulsion, solitary sidestep
and straddle, yellow down, tail
feather bobbing over your pinned,
claw-rumpled tissue. Side to side
you rub your vent, absurdly intent,
like my first love, today a father.
We came into tissues he made
disappear, a crowd-pleaser
for the eager. Years later,
wedged between wall and bed,
I found the wadded remainder
of our nights. What to do with yellow
memory? Lucio in fluttered ecstasy,
in sudden flush of saffron wing,
betrays no deed or blush, no stain.
Steven Tagle reads “Tissue”
Steven Tagle is the recipient of fellowships from the Institute of Current World Affairs, Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Lambda Literary, and Fulbright Greece, as well as a Soros Fellowship for New Americans. A graduate of the UMass Amherst MFA, he has been published in The Common, Bomb, them, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Rumpus, and Nea Estia. Originally from California, he now lives in Greece.