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(9/15/06) for Clayton Banes. Football players who make good with the ball jump off their feet and meet a teammate in the air to slam HEART CHAKRAS together. Can we get a close-up of their impact, frozen, to see this delicious transference of heart power? Ah, yeah, it's melting chocolate for the soul. Men elevating the solar plexus in the air to stamp hearts together is the work of The Sublime. I'm ready to slam heart chakras with this Philadelphia oak tree RIGHT NOW! My ear to its bark. Where's its heart beat? Can't hear it. I want to connect, want to connect, want to connect with YOU oak tree! I'm out here to write in your book Clayton, and of course books are made from hearts of trees (which explains the oak hiding its pulse). I needed a break from typing poems for the queer anthology Tim Peterson is publishing, in particular the very long "G-9" by Tim Dlugos. Typing this poet's risks of Love, for LIFE with AIDS, dying, but living, got me crying, fits of crying with little control. And I Love the poem even more now, but just the same fear sitting down to type it. Clicking out 14 pages got me thinking of my old boyfriend Tommy my friend Elizabeth didn't want me to date, afraid I'd "catch his AIDS." My friend Jen yelled at her "You stupid BITCH!" when she showed up to interrupt our first date at Jameson Cafe. Everyone meant well, but they had no idea how our skin felt together, hearts PRESSED, so, just, so. When Tommy broke up with me it was like someone walking into the woods to be alone at the end. His boss at the used bookstore told me he was dead and I did acid with my neighbor, but wandered home in the middle of tripping an evil trip to be alone in my own wooded patch, trying three doors until my key took. I curled up and cried, waking in sticky vomit. Pain is so exhausting, Love being at fault. Love is guilty of turning off, as well as turning on, one chakra at a time. Hey, Clayton, I think I hear the tree's heart finally, yeah, there it is. I'm always ready for my heart chakra to be POUNCED open, pried open, whispered open, whatever it takes! At the gay bookstore I worked with Gilbert while he was in the police academy. He was their best student, which is why we didn't get along. He became Philadelphia's first openly gay cop, in the newspapers, on TV. I didn't like him but feared for him. Was it a month or two months later he shot himself in the head with his service revolver? The Philadelphia Gay News said he was respected and missed by his fellow officers. When Rita Odessa told me the REAL story of Gilbert enduring daily, brutal assaults from every cop in the precinct I rented the Harvey Milk documentary JUST TO FASTFORWARD to see the cop cars on fire. BURN PIG BURN! "Satan is just another cop to stay ahead of" my mother said. Maybe I need to find a cop and slam our hearts together. How would he react? Suck this dark world red, the lies in the gay newspaper, as Rita says, as I realize, to continue making bridges with city hall. When homophobia and suicide are traded for gay republican award ceremonies, are the bridges you're making really just tunnels? And do you call those tunnels burrows when they don't reach the other side? If your parents are racist, but accept you, do you accept their racism for their acceptance? Trade HELL on earth, it's like living, when you live, sometimes, isn't it? Are you alive? Are you compromised, deleted by increments of real live choices? I want to avenge the silence that annihilates this song. Did someone pull the jukebox plug? Does the bartender who is really a cop have a secret button back there under the beer tap? I'm going to FUCKING SCREAM if that song isn't turned back on! Okay, or maybe press my heart to the oak tree outside. There's always that. Love is always that close. That sounds corny, but is very TRUE! Love's the last thing we should fear, and even then....