"I REMEMBER" — © 1987 - 1999 by Charles Dobie


Charles Dobie

First published in The Church-Wellesley Review, spring 1991 or 1992.

I remember sounds and tastes and touches in hot summer nights of hunger for that heat found only in each nameless other for a time imagined that we owned the world and nothing could contain us but our passion stank of liberation kindled light within our gathered faces glowed as if we knew how soon we would be ghosts.

I remember Queen and Sherbourne Street in 1972 or was it 3 o'clock in hot July I watched you hosing down the sidewalk with an afternoon of beer was purchased with a knowing wink at office workers peered from streetcar window barricades of quickly folded papers gave them reassuring comfort with descriptions of my feelings as I tore my eyes from streaming cock to drink your smile meant only for your gentle lover walking with us quelled my jealous longing with a simple touch fortold my future on those steaming squares ablaze like neon every time I pass them peering at the punkers from behind my quickly folded paper mocks me with descriptions of that smile I drank so long ago I knew I could not watch you end your days attended by your latest lover who long distance static could not hide your laughter as each laboured breath proclaimed his name tuberculosis.

I remember laughing lust with shadow strangers in a room compressed with sound and smoke and laser incandescent sweat hid tears that ran like rivers were his home for years he waited for someone to swim along the current of his heart fought to escape across the jungle twilight water black with blood-blind soldiers lined the shore to shoot his children were all dead he said he could not speak their names engraved the waves with bullet-shattered light entwined our shadows for a moment's passion much too quickly spent the time remaining drowning in his eyes suprised to see my tears.

In Memory of Ken Hutchinson


"I REMEMBER" — © 1987 - 1999 by Charles Dobie