A poem by Ocean Vuong, The Bull, evokes feelings, memories, of my early experiences reaching out to touch another human, another man, sometimes simply an unexpressed yearning, sometimes an illicit, uninvited, unwelcome touch, sometimes, increasingly, mutual, reciprocated.
Even after coming out as gay, after decades of living my desires in loving sexual relationships, there are moments when that old yearning is a thirst so deep it's impossible to quench; moments when it returns as something more than a sexual desire, more about the rawness of stepping into the unknown and unknowable, of being present to the moment, this moment that will never occur again.
Adolescence was a time when touch was no longer innocent, when the sexual charge changed everything. And now, now it is more fundamental, the touch, the presence of someone who may not be alive after today, this week, this month. A sense of time, of life, as more etherial, about the subtle ways I am present for myself, for another, or wall myself off.
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