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Juan Luis Guzmán

Pantoum

The first time I touch a man in lust I remember this:
pleasure isn’t something you should give away so easily.
Everything I know about loving a man comes second hand;
my mother shares with my sister in the next room, I listen.

Pleasure isn’t something you should give away so easily,
I collect wisdom like lonely strands of thread
my mother shares with my sister in the next room. I listen,
bending toward the wall to hear what she’d never say to me,

collecting wisdom like lonely strands of thread:
un amor perdido, stings like a jalapeño seed lost between teeth.
Bending toward the wall, I hear what she’d never say to me:
I’ll teach you all the ways to take his power, and if it doesn’t work,

a lost love arde como la semilla del jalapeño perdida entre dientes.
She says, start by smoothing scented oil onto skin while it is still wet,
I’ll teach you, all the ways to take his power—and if it doesn’t work?—
sometimes it’s the girl that gives it up first who gets the farthest,

she says. I start by smoothing scented oil onto skin while it is still wet.
Everything I know about loving a man comes secondhand:
sometimes it’s the boy that gives it up first who gets the farthest,
the first time I touch a man in lust I remember this.

Juan Luis Guzmán, [PANK]  8.10 / October 2013 :: Queer 4

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