Crusaders in late Autumn

I don't remember the crusaders
who waltzed this way in late Autumn

when I walked the draconian thoroughfares
raking too many dead things up from the storm

drains, pulling hoods up to cover my eyes,
speaking politely with Emily who's beau

passed this way with King Phillip's army
in October while I arranged pumpkins on the porch;

when the rain fell in slanted parallelograms, gabbled,
curling forearms up, eyeballs plastic and plastered to

rows of words on pages, reading Casanova's memoirs
during the hail storm, running outside to chase

the coarse ciaos. Falling asleep before the brick
fireplace, thinking of the sour stones my body lays on.

Drinking milk in plastic cups, keeping my body
at room temperature, keeping my lover in his place,

albeit far from here; telling Emily stories of Aquitaine,
of the troubadours of Poitiers, and how their words taste

of silk and dusk-lit road dust, how you will never stand
in want of sleep or food when you are in love,

though you stand on street corners; arms crossing, hair
becoming lace in the dampness of the air, nude of

all others you look for – realizing that it is you, and you
alone, in late Autumn, now that the crusaders have

eroded into Damascus – now that the crusaders have
sacked the yoke of sissified sanctuaries. God wills will

power, the mind devoirs death like a maggot, God hates
all faggots who crumble on crusade. God hates

everything that I love, it seems, stranger straggler
snagging nuzzled hairs on the back of your neck;

all too empty, Emily and I, aching Ascalon, jumbled
Jerusalem, my own new ports and townships,

my own teeth chattering in the smattering of
words on throat muscles, sitting all night in a car

unopposed, unobtrusive, obviously silk and grime
between fingers, that ghost of you still hungry

at my mouth, at my southward proclamation,
agoraphobic, elongated, though

those crusaders passed my way in November, eyes sown shut,
limbs too solid, we chose not to remember.