We were sitting on a bench (Riverside, near 125th) chain smoking and the conversation had taken about a million turns—from Cuban communism to American racism to weeaboos. The air was crisp, dry. I periodically sipped water from a kid-sized bottle. There was a point where the smell of shitty barbeque from the nearby restaurant tempted us too much, and our lack of money made us more upset about it all. He said, "I have some really good leftovers," and I sort of halfway smiled and pulled out my fifth cigarette of that hour.

We were uncomfortably cramped in the train, squashed together between a gaggle of giggling tweens and burly college kids. I was self-conscious of how my chubby thighs pressed against yours, and how your tall skinny frame made me feel larger than usual. Your eyes looked dark. They always do. When we got off the train, we lit up again. I think for a minute I might die, but I'm content.

Your house is smallish, with windows that look towards Amsterdam Avenue and a brick wall. Your bedroom floor is strewn with paper and clothes. All your clothes are black and I sort of smile at that.

You have Thai leftovers and a cup of rice. I take the rice and soak it in hot sauce, the angry red matching the enormous Polish flag hanging in the kitchen. I slip off my shoes and cross my legs on your bed, spooning small chunks of rice past my chapped lips and into my tobacco-tasting mouth.

We don't talk for a while.

Entire novels fleetingly try to escape from my mouth but they kneel at the presence of your stony gaze.