He could sense the beginning of a story
In these dog days of August, the sweat
Dripping down his chest, his dreary eyes
Ablaze with heat.  He even kept his legs apart,
To welcome any breeze to cool down
Passions that had bothered him for days.

At times, he only wished to live within the magic,
To curl around himself, perhaps one other,
And tell his tale in such a way
That others would not laugh but wither
From the sadness in his heart.
Like peaches shriveled hard around their pits,
He would hold them rapt with enchantment,
Casting absolutions until they could not leave.

Other times his life trudged on in patterns
Indecipherable even to those skilled
In arcane powers.  Only one who sees
Through eyes of love could penetrate
His crafted shell.  Nights were a time
For the dispensing of pleasures,
The construction of dreams
And the longing for love.

He was immensely pleased
When the Persian spoke to him.
Those eyes were eyes that seemed
To understand, deep and dark,
They shimmered with some unspoken
Truth, some voice within
That as yet could not sound a word.

There was no need to speak of it.
They knew from that first moment
What lay ahead.  Only the details
Had to be worked out.  Whose house?
Which room?  Would they dine before or after?
Would the flowers be lilacs or lilies?
Should the wine be white or red?
It was the random longing— elevated,
Intense, inexhaustible—
That brought to him the fearful knowledge
That he would kill to protect this man.

The Persian sang, wrote poetry
So deep that one felt an eternal presence
Leap from line to line and bring magic
So sublime that transformation,
Like heat and moisture, saturated the room.
The very air, the design of windows,
The softness of the chair,
The standing lamp with tasseled shade….
Each object, form and texture brought to him
This Persian boy: the curving line of naked hips,
The grace of soft and sweetened thighs,
The staff of life erect and tall.
This lion of the ancient desert
Had the mind of Hermes linking worlds.

Somehow he knew his future would be painted
With this Persian presence— this smoldering mystery
Would yield but to darkness or to love.
For them hate would lose its power.
Even under heavy blankets, they would
Not muffle truth.  Those lips
That kissed so tenderly, no lie would ever pass.

Nations could war, freedoms be lost,
But still their souls would touch, embrace,
Confess a love so strong that those who
Called them friends would hold their breath,
Stand in awe and pray for justice equal
In distribution of its blessings.

Such was the day they met,
Profiled against the sky, against
The goldness of the sun, melting
Down through hazy clouds to earth.
And at the end of day, laying together
In the bed, waiting for the birds
To break the spell, they knew
That chance had played no part.