At the St. Marks baths Hart Crane washes my hair
and I tilt around the cold porcelain of the basin
with strain and delight, trying to look at him.
But before I meet his sea-tempered eyes
I feel his hands easing my head
into the dark water,
as if he were a sailor calming a storm
on a ship with insatiable men.
When he tugs at the ropes that are my hair
my American youth streams down
one year so heavy, it finds its way under the towel
around my waist and rests near the curve of my thigh.
Who am I? I think. And I try to remember
the beginning of beauty—before Orpheus,
before this man who sings
for the drowning, touches my lips,
and I ignite.
Alex Dimitrov is founder of Wilde Boys, a queer poetry salon in New York City. His first book of poems, Begging For It, is forthcoming.