Loving All These Men. Is That What I Think

I’ve been doing? honey, if I’m real,
I been fuckin’ around. and when did I insist
on ruining myself? like someone who ruins

a shirt in a bike wreck. ok, there are many
more ways to ruin. knee-skinned blood and dirt 
are the basics. to ruin is to spoil. think of fruit

spilled in wind. it disintegrates slowly, its rind
resembling, for a long time, a shell. this also
happens to bodies left on the farm unburied.

to ruin is to leave ruins, noseless busts,
torn porcelain faces, shards of columns,
caves of pompeii with angels frescoed

on walls of what were surely brothel rooms.
what I want is to get the root of one person’s
ruin by their own hand. the way my car’s been dented

on every side: once from my bike collapsing
against a door, once when I backed up hard
into carolina bedrock, once when a snowplow

chewed the forward wheel well. that black summer,
my front bumper snagged on a pole and tore,
metal shrieked as I pulled away after midnight

from the man who panted with me smoke-hot, quiet
breaths at the head of his driveway. he wanted not
to wake his sleeping husband in the vinyl-sided house.

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Anthony DiPietro 
Anthony DiPietro is a gay Rhode Island (USA) native whose career has been in community-based organizations and arts administration. He earned a creative writing MFA at Stony Brook University, where he also taught courses and planned and diversified arts programming. He now serves as associate director of Rose Art Museum in Waltham, Massachusetts. A graduate of Brown University with honors in creative writing, his poems and essays have appeared in numerous reviews and
anthologies. His first chapbook, And Walk Through, a series of poems composed on a typewriter during the pandemic lockdowns, is now available, and his full-length poetry collection, kiss & release, will appear from Unsolicited Press in 2024. His website is www.AnthonyWriter.com.

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Image by Fabio Pelegrino