Class Analysis – Wendell Ricketts


(for P.C., il miglior uomo)

If I were to write about Paul
I would write about
using abbreviations
to stand in for the failures of intention
or what went by too quickly for the human eye to follow.

I’d have to say about
suppers together
searing peppers over the gas flame
herbs I’d never tasted
and the sign painted along an entire kitchen wall
between the goldfish bowl and the Azalea:

I wouldn’t fail to mention
the red wreck of a car
bench seats
and the first ride I took in it
Paul driving
looking small and efficient behind the wheel.

There’d be a part that talked about the long walk
to the cranked-up neighborhood candyman
willing to sell us his last two hits of acid
b/c he thought Paul might still one day give in;
and the 8 hrs on the floor afterward, a world,
holding on holding on and watching
the ceiling turn into cirrus shapes
160 mi. above our sprawled out, blissed out
shit-talking bodies that held on held on held on
like they expected to float down finally and find themselves

How the word “love” was never spoken
or maybe once, at the end of a phone call,
a Freudian slip,
but present ever after in the hidden language;
goodbye meant it
so did wanna do thursday
so did yes.

I’d write about the butt fur
the chest fur
the sweat-sticky buffalo fur
(the time we did it on a friend’s rug)
clinging to the backs of Paul’s
thin arms;
the blunt-fingered hands at the ends of them
work-rough and cut-up and always one nail hammered black;
the dark spot on the dick head
like a second, more reticent piss slit;
the lazy tongue the drawl the spit-
sweet kisses
the throat cored out special for me to park
my cock in
while Paul sang songs on it
about being





Wendell Ricketts is the editor of Everything I Have Is Blue: Short Fiction by Working-Class Men About More-or-Less Gay Life and the author of numerous poems and short stories. He can be reached at

Photo credit: Rambler Ambassador Front Seat And Dash © Ty/vtengr4047. Used courtesy of Creative Commons License.

Contact the Editor.

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