oscar wilde spoke of aestheticism
which is to say, the art of beauty;
the antithesis of pretend.
in his world, the boyfriends are just boyfriends,
no motive with which to wield word. the martyrs
ache with disease, the dreams shared in daylight
remain gorgeous air and nothing more.
he likes it, or maybe he lies. for who could enjoy a jail cell
of syllable? creation so honest it cuts chests?
we could try to understand; learn the love that dare not
speak its name, the sinners with their futures,
the art for art’s sake. we could spit out sonnets that
spill so lovingly across our beds,
watch hearts split to bleed sweet nectar—
no, I’m sorry. it could not possibly be that pretty.
forgive me for fallacy. forgive me for
metaphor and all the fancy of greatness, just—
if time is only time and bodies cusp mere wind
and skin, is there really a meaning in touch?
the story goes like this:
in truth i love the search, the strobes, the cheeks
swelling with poem. i love the decay, the still air,
the frontstabbing friends, all the prayers and surrenders
that make mouths whole. or maybe i lie. maybe i
simply love you, reader:
the wordplay of us,
our lungfuls of daydreams,
and all the beauty with which we pretend.