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Four Way Books
A History of the Only War
by Christopher Davis

ISBN: 1-884800-66-1
paper, 94 pages, $14.95

This kid, in a convenience store, frowned on my fly, fingers moving
under his zipper. I tried hardening my character. He seemed so thin.

Perched cross-legged on the love hotel bed, he looks
very thin. Money he says. So it’s a trap. I’m broke

I say, offering up half of what the room cost.
He just stares at my bill in the air. Pouting,

whispering something about rice, he shows
his empty wallet. So he’s a hungry whore.

Behind his head, beyond the window,
a neon crucifix flickers, shorting out.

In a landscape architect’s pickup,
workers squat around a succulent,

their uniforms the same green as the elephant-ear leaves
hiding their hands. Twilight smells of rambutan, durian,

that acrid-sweet perfume. I’ll buy each boy a soft drink,
green, cold, as sweet as it could be, my fi ngers fondling

their harps, their humming, nervous ribcages, tracing
on a notebook page the outline of my left hand, tips

of the forefi nger and thumb joined, gesturing
okay, the feeling body showing, never telling.