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there exists a snapshot somewhere
of you and i in your little bathroom
both shirtless
boxers for you
and faded jeans for me

and your hand is in my hair
tugging my head back
baring a throat
that knows the feel of
your lips, teeth, tongue
very well

the light shining down on us
is deep red from a darkened bulb
casting shadows on dyed black
hair that cascades onto the floor

i wonder how many parts
of myself i have left around you
how many times we have breathed the
same air and shared the same space

there’s a certain kind of beauty
in the bruises you’ve ****** into my neck
the fingerprints you’ve left in my heart
how you’re only a bus ride away
and we sleep under the same moon

and if all these moments were polaroids
the paper would be faded
and creased from being tucked into
my breast pocket

a small part of some magic
i’m unwilling to let fade
Boaz Priestly Mar 10
i marvel at how
your face fits so perfectly
in my cupped hands
and smile into our locked lips

running fingers through
your long blond hair
with your head in my lap
is where i’d like to spend
the rest of my days

wanting to relive that
feeling of waking up
next to you
again and again

and you looked at me
like i was something
worth waking up to

and you cleared off a
coat hook for my layers
that i shuck off each time
before falling into your arms

and i don’t know what
i’m supposed to do with that
a love so new
so real and true

i don’t want to know
if you believe in forever

but i can tell you
that i believe in this
right now
Boaz Priestly Feb 23
i know what it is
to write about the tender
language of touch
like one would an old friend

this is a love
that i will not
soon forget

like wanting the feeling
of your fingertips
forever ingrained in my skin

with your comforting weight
on my thighs
and only existing where your
touch my neck

you make my mouth water
and i want to
crawl inside of you
nestle myself behind your heart
make a birdhouse out of your ribcage

darling, you make me bloom
planting seeds in soil
i once thought long since dried

darling, i’ll write you so
many songs

with nothing but your name
on the tip of my tongue
and hands that do not shake
am i a praying man?
well, i could be
but the only altar
i’ll kneel at is
the circle of your
arms around me

and i’ve looked for
something akin to god
between the gaps in his teeth
and the way her hand
fit just right in mine

but the closest
i’ve ever felt to holy
is sitting on a chair
in your kitchen
legs crossed under me
and our knees touched
whenever you walked by

and i watched you
through the steam rising from
the mug of tea
that warmed my hands the way
you warmed my heart

and my mouth waters
watching the way your
hands and arms move
chopping vegetables and turning
to flash a crooked smile my way

and i want to taste
the food you’re cooking for me

but i want to taste
the salty sweat on your skin
and the way your lips carry
the bottle of sweet wine we
shared even more
Boaz Priestly Jan 30
i exist
because i am known
and i am known
because i am loved

it’s like
being told the name on
a moving company truck
made her think of me
and i should really text her again
let her know i think of her, too

and this
kitchen witch that smiles
so wide when she sees me
fills a wooden bowl
with salad greens she grew herself
and i never want to leave
my seat at her table

and this
man i immortalized as a sea captain
says he knows i don’t like
dark chocolate and hands
me a pack of peanut butter cups
and i can’t remember mentioning that
but he did

and it’s
like this woman i know and love
with hair in reds and oranges like
licking and lapping flame
holding me as i cried in the parking lot
of some ****** dive bar and
calling me her son

and i
have existed before

but never in such stark
relief as when you
held my hand as we lay
side by side on your bed

and brought
my knuckles to your soft
soft lips like i was something
beautiful to behold
the witch comes to visit
with soup and a story
sets an old *** on
the bard’s little wood-burning stove
and he watches as she works,
perched on a stool

and the witch, she tells
the bard about the stars,
how they always remember
and live for thousands of years

there is one star in particular
she weaves a tapestry about
with her words,
but only where that star cannot hear
taken by pirate ship upon the waves

she speaks, with something like
fondness and resignation
about how this star,
he fell in love with the moon

and when the moon was
too far for him to follow
his love turned towards the ocean
and how it stretches from
one end of the horizon to the other

the bard knows this star well,
of course, often wakes with him
slumbering still, between the
bard and the closed bedroom door

the witch then asks the bard
what he is tied to
and the bard tells her who
he is anchored to

and, setting a bowl of
soup on the well-worn table,
the witch says, with unmistakable
fondness this time,
“then you are a fool, bard of mine”

the bard nods in agreement,
almost tells the witch he
only eats lunch for her,
but suspects she already knows,
so says instead,
“aye, and a fool in love
is the very worst kind”

and the witch will agree,
because the bard is right

but, she will also tell
the bard how this star,
he loves a man
with scars through his eyebrow
and across the palm of his hand
from building a widow’s walk
with the star’s name on his tongue
the whole time

and there is an honesty
in loving someone to the point
of creation again and again,
is there not?
Boaz Priestly Dec 2020
the artist says,
with drink coloring his cheeks
and a sparkle in his eyes,
“follow me”

and the bard knows he
would follow this man
to the ends of the earth
and back if it meant that
he could hold his hand

where the bard allows
himself to be led
there are no ships
no empty docks
no tattered longcoat
and longer, coal-black hair

here, there is only
the artist and the bard
and, oh, how he is held
with one hand cupping
his cheek, another his shoulder

the artist has soft lips
tasting of sweet wines
where the captain always
carries that lingering aftertaste
of bitter sea salt

the candle of this old flame
could consume them both
if the bard were a lesser man
and decided to let it

for, here, in the very back
hallway of some no-name tavern
in some no-name town
there are no sailing ships
and squirrelly pirate captains

no promise of coming back,
because this would be a love
that never leaves

and the bard does wonder
if this is something he is allowed
a love that wouldn’t break his heart
a lover that never leaves one half
of the bed cold as ice

he wonders if the captain
would miss him
if there is any heart left
to break in that lonely breast

the bard wonders if he
would be the one to
break the captain’s heart
and if the monotony of being
constantly content is worth it

and, so, he steps back
out of the embrace of the artist
feels fingertips lingering,
calluses catching in his stubble

and the artist looks at the bard
like he understands what he can’t say
and forgives him for it

and the bard takes that forgiveness
the memory of hands hardened from brushes
and not frayed ropes, or mended sails
and tucks it away like a snapshot
of what maybe could’ve been
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