Berdache Boy by Griffin Payne

They say he throws like a girl,
But he fucks like a man. Wild, stroking

Hands, coarse with callous, through
Disheveled strands of black unbraided

Hair; the sweat, wayward pearls
Pouring from crown to cheeks to chest, down

To the cathedral carved
Into the contours of rigid hips.

His kiss is mist, gentle.
Berdache, holy man who makes love

To men, ancient and blessed,
An old indigenous tradition,

Cloaked in the French word for
Faggot and reframed into broken

Dichotomy. Two-spirit
Boys born to be shamans; now, shadowed

With shame, exiles outcast
To closets, to caves, to empty deserts.

He has been wandering,
His eyes closed, his hands tightly folded,

And he opens to my
touch, to the sensation of warm, moist

Breath that condenses and
Beads wet necklaces around his nape.

The sweat transforms his skin
To slick, mossy slabs of granite: strong,

Solid and slippery;
And his thighs taste of the tides. Thrusting,

The torque of his torso
Is taut bowstring tense with pointed length

Of an arrow fl├Ęched with
Feathers. Within him is the ocean.

The sweat is salty spray;
And, I am swimming him, breathing his

Water, whirlpool of flesh,
Without shame, diving into deep, dark

Mysterious seas, wild
With waves of swirling black hair shining

Obsidian in bright
Moonlight. There is sugar in his step,

They say, his wrist is limp,
Soft like his shy lisp. His kiss whispers

Hidden strength and his posture speaks shame.
Berdache boy stand up!

Answer faggot with fearlessness. Howl
Windstorm songs from your heart.

Warrior! Teach us your wisdom as we welcome
You into the tribe that has always been yours.

Berdache boy! We are waiting for you to leap,
To swell with courage and immerse yourself within
Your own sacred nature.

May the full moon lift your undulating body into the harbor of my open arms
Until you fully become the ebb and the flow of your own pulsating heart,
Until you fully become who it is that you were truly born to be.

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