Poem collage in two columns: the first column has an illustration of two people kissing; the second column has an illustration of two men embracing.

Outside, explosions of soot and concrete
lit up the night sky, our kiss,

naked and tentative, a bridge across the lake.
I submerged down into the water.

until I was floating just above the bottom.
I didn’t think it would get so deep.

I wonder if this is a baptism.
There is something here

about mentorship and imitation.
I felt the same stage fright

the first time I went out with an older man
as if my feminine self was on a TV talk show.

From the hips down she had no body
but had been grafted onto a unicycle.

I flashed back to our earlier encounters:
you gave me advice on an altar I built

in the middle of a museum
for some specific healing purpose.

I remember asking you if it was better to stay
in the building for protection,

or to leave in case it collapsed
in an explosion of soot and concrete.