There was this beautiful sunset in the nineties in Wellfleet Harbor I can’t have anymore. I was doing a play I wrote for one character: a show called Ten Thousand Hands Have Touched Me that nobody liked (cold, cannibalized from older work). My friend, who I was in love with, used to swim with me before I had to get on stage and try to make my life sound like hunger or beauty or noise. We swam out to where it was hard to distinguish the water from the sky, to that favorite part of living, where you stop talking. There, I would rock him in my arms until he became the lightest human being in the world. Years later, he washed up on the rocks at the breakwater end of Provincetown. He was murdered, some people said. Or, he OD’ed. When he was the lightest human being in the world, I loved him and knew I would never say it which made it fade and come back like bad timing. When he was light like this, he was David, at the moment of the idea of David. Before somebody slipped David into a body. Before something or somebody dropped David’s body at the end of the street where the water started.
Michael Klein is a five-time Lambda Literary award finalist and won the award twice for his anthology Poets for Life: 76 Poets Respond to AIDS and for his first book of poems, 1900, which tied with James Schuyler’s Collected Poems. His third book is The Talking Day (Sibling Rivalry Press) and he has new work appearing or forthcoming in Little Star, Provincetown Arts, The Awl and Poetry magazine. He teaches in the MFA Program at Goddard College and lives in New York City and Provincetown.