Kevin Killian – Black and WhiteKevin Killian
Black and White
(This is a poem about male bonding)
He—the subject—is black and white.
Even his clothes are like telephones.
Sometimes I think he’s suspiciously “clear”
in the Scientology sense.
Other times that he has no way to defend himself.
I think he thinks me cheap; a vegetable; perverse;
out to get him where it hurts;
and sometimes I think he’s a
seagull—in an oil slick.
Black leather and white, white hothouse flowers.
Gardenias, camellias, and the things
that come out of his mouth and
words, whether printed or written in letters
or spoken, are all black and white;
even he’s a word, that loves itself, that loves other
words because they are as colorless; therefore he and
I love the same things, all words, and himself, and
that which is black and white:
footprints in the snow—piano keys—busing—
Sometimes I think he’s entirely a fool.
Sometimes I think he just wants to be adored.
Sometimes I think his waist—a thin, blue, imaginary
membrane—the only thing that belongs to him
that all the rest is mine.
And because he wants the same thing I do
Vatic shimmer like a nest of bijoux
I forgive him all his flaws
and I call him a cloud—picked out by jackdaws.