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Petals

by Earl Carrender



Il maime

He loved me. On a Sunday afternoon. In his apartment. I barely made it there. One hundred miles just to see him.  He was Ganymede standing in the kitchen. Pacing, barefoot, across the floor. He was Hyacinth thinking boy thoughts. Wearing a shirt he bought in France. Tossed on the floor. He was Ameinias drinking margaritas. His face candlelit as he slept beside me.

en pui

He loved me a little. In a cinema where we couldn’t hold hands. In the parking lot by the street light. Underneath the full moon in midsummer on my birthday, security nearby.  Two boys kissing.  Man and wife in the doorway arguing. Moviegoers going home, tossing trash behind them.  Security coming towards us. Two boys kissing. Disturbing the peace.

beucoup

He loved me a lot. In Mocondo. In Bloomsbury, in London, in Paris and in the Deep South. In all the places we were, but had never been.  Two  boys born in small towns. Hopelessly Midwestern. Would that I could take him to Portugal. Or Turkey or Sardinia. But this world is not my home.

a la folie

He loved me like crazy. He cried on the morning he left, didn’t he?  Sitting there in my car. He wrote to say he thought of me. He phoned me every day. From across town.  From across the state. From across the ocean.  When I disagreed. When I called his bluff. 

Be careful who you love.

pas du tout

Did he love me at all? A little. A lot. Like crazy. Not at all. Even now I think of him and I need a drink. I can remember the sincerity of his tears. His voice on the telephone. “I miss you,” was all that he could say. Then, like Virgil, he led me through Hell. Yesterdays with no end and no tomorrow. 


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