“Him & Him” by Colin Nickle

Eyes dark as pitch
Shining like black pearls
Stripping the sun
Of all magnetism
Long lash half hooded eyes
Made others stare a single gaze away
Surprised at sudden astonishment
Sentences withering on the line
Else veiled by English schoolboy
Wet deep rose full lips
And tawny colouring
Inherent from some European coastal
Or seductive southern country warmth
Perhaps from ancient traditions of Northern Tribes
Beyond knowing his own mind
Seemingly he knew everyone else’s
A constant mood
Neither good nor bad
A young canny up and comer
To circumstance and relationships
Straight shooting, popular
Unquenchable hunger for solitude
Looks like an actor
But never a choice
Some disconnection from the status quo
Though never a ruse, just a miscreant
Incidents ending always in a win
Enchantment almost went unrecognizable
Suddenly helpless, a smile cracked open his face
It had been some time
But there, features full of smiling dimples
City long black lashes
Would they get caught
If enmeshed with a match?
Slicks of uncome bangs
Bouncing boyishly around forehead
Whole big eyes
Turning up attractively at the ends
God’s seeing eye bonus of sapphire blue
Beyond any simple colour
Entranced for once
Bumped and moved strategically
Unusually close
The one eyed the other
As the other one eyed the other
Immediate connection dawned
Why even try to explain?
Each leaning closer
Possibly back cafe table?
A shrug, a nod in the affirmative
They steered the crowd, settled into the modicum
Of privacy afforded them
Tequila ordered simultaneously
Hunched over in trademark black
“We could not have rehearsed that”
“Yeah, hope they don’t mix up orders.
So where from?”
Hooded stay hooded. “Around”
“Uh yeah me too” aiming cool too fast
Sit and just let awkward silence pass
Then jokingly “Monosyllabic?”
Prickly “Hey punk
Where we supposed to get to
In three minutes?
I don’t do this
Don’t like bars
Bearings need organizing”
“Whoa take your time Terminator”
They took long drink gulps
“Wanna try and chew through this?”
“Ok—willing to try boyo—talk me”
“Third year communications—UWO. You?”
“Two years college photography
Now freelance ad work
Paint—canvasses
Two successful shows”
Then “Ah—angry lone painter
With lucrative sideline”
“Yeah I can hardly wait to be a success”
“Parents proud?”
“What parents
Seven foster homes since newborn.
My pathetic story. You?”
“Father United Nations placement
Siblings grew up New York
No more kids—oops, me—late and last
Parents moved back here
Re-opened family farm
Kept and rode a black stallion
Um—you can blink
And stop intense staring”
Never caught off guard
“Well you’re quite the great looking one
I like watching your lips move.”
Blushing he finished
“So I’m a farm boy
Father—retired post—writes poetry
Mother paints impressionism style
Words and artistic eye my legacy”
“Well” was the retort
“You’re gazing at
Ages 12 to 18 farm boy too—
So different from city life
Left behind.
Space—chores—great meals—a say in
Running things—creek wading—fishing
Boating—independence—all good really.”
“That’s quite a tale Shakespeare
And you’re the exotic hottie
If I were you
I’d be photographing myself all day.”
“Thanks now you’ve inflicted
Double nervousness
So where was your farm?”
“Rural route 15 Hampstead.”
“Too much—me rural route 6 Hampstead”
“Think we met?”
“Better late than never”
“This is definitely different from
Country Fairs.”
“Yeah—Bartlett pear trees”
“Uh-huh—summer peonies”
And they were off
“Thick winding juicy grape vines”
“Apple and cherry orchards”
“Mock orange”
“Spirea”
“June peas”
Then laughing “Pansies”
“Oh—the best”
“No” he closed his dark eyes
And leaned into him saying
“Hmmm—the delicate perfume
Of spring violets”
“That’s my fabric softener Old MacDonald”
And they both laughed together.
A slice of silence
Then “So blow this joint
And come see my etchings”
A pause as clasped hands
Drown a little into those hooded eyes
Tongue in cheek
“In all the art work that is you
Do you ever portray a geyser?”
A crooked smile answer
“Onward to your pleasure, Pleasure.”

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