Nude and Close

Daniel and Eric were those new kind of lovers. Enamored by ideas with less mystery than the Mona Lisa. Modern in their perpetual state of undress not meant to impress. Digital in proximity but distant in geography, which still mattered despite the lightboxes in our hands, dinging and tweeting, informing us all about the world. About new snaps insisting redress. About rogue cops with hateful resting faces shooting Chicago teens well past a point of death, and suicide vests like some fresh take on corduroy, fast fashion even the most trend starved would pass by in favor of something in red or nude. About Josh taking Punkin to the market.

They were nude and close with comfort. Daniel’s grip easy on Eric’s wrist, part of the pose yet generating additional context, as if the tilt of Eric’s gaze and the hoist blooming in his calves were unspoken eagerness most art attempts to portray, to find love where it might not plainly be. To see men as lovers set free from constraints ancient and unleavened. Daniel’s glance back suggesting some restraint. Suggesting fear’s dollop of woe. Doubt brought into the light where it dries like read tea leaves in more shadows than the lamps allowed, which always mattered to the lines telling their story in that moment, lines John drew quickly, urgency his agent and muse, guiding story notes and background details, the slopes of Daniel’s traps.

They were usernames and avatars. In contact intimate they remained platonic. Just look at their unbothered cocks, so professional in their disregard for genetic imperatives, despite the mischievous glimmer in Eric’s blue eyes. Sharing air but blocks apart, separated by notifications and DMs, Daniel’s phone in constant vibration, layers of the micro radio wave atmosphere pulsating around and through everything save the most dense concrete. They were the business of networking toward recognition, leaving that mark, historic record akin to dogs pissing on the tree after sniffing a strange ass, and no rain can wash away the scent, permitting its immortal intent and John’s creative delight in a portrait well meant, shared by common license and beauty’s insistence.