Timothy Rico-Storey

Thoughts While Taking a Piss in the Men’s Room at the Atlantic House in Provincetown, MA

The first thing: Tennessee Williams walks naked
On a P-town beach downstairs in an oversized
Photo on the wall. Tastefully concealing his
Member by a crossed leg, the playwright strides
Under the sun. Upstairs in the Macho Bar’s
Dimly lit toilet, walls papered
In yellowed, faded images precisely cut
From the pages of Honcho and Inches and Drummer,
The next thing: these men and barely
Men, display cocks and asses,
Proud but in shadow, on the walls
Of the head where just a tiny
Ray of sunlight might make its way
Through a high, narrow window.

True, we queers come out more regularly in places
Like P-town, tourists among tourists,
Emboldened away from where there’s
No place like. Example: the two lanky
Cowboy-hat-and-boot-wearing men,
Who were walking down the street
Just this afternoon, arm in arm,
In nothing else but Ginch Gonch briefs
And sunglasses. Emboldened because,
Yes, no one cares because, yes, the tourism board Encourages the display for the breeders who,
Yes, now bring their pre-teen children to
Gawk. So the queers come out as we are
Always coming out. Like the cock
Of the walk, proud, decadent,
Snickering at the gawking,
Flesh and sinew on
Capital display,
Queer meat brings
Cash.

So I wonder, really, is this the P-town
That Williams and his ilk would have
Known? Walking naked on the beach—
Was this not the more greatly subversive
Act—photographed and displayed
For generations with no cover
Fee?

Still, in some regard, this upstairs getaway,
With its red lights and black walls
And nonstop hardcore mansex projected
On the screen opposite the bar,
This sanctum superiorem
Where fagboys and butchdaddies
And leathermen congregate around
Overpriced beer and strong cocktails
Sharing cock tales and over in the
Unlit alcove caressing cocks and tails,
This murky radar blip stands
Like an inverted lighthouse,
A pinpointed darkness that says:

+++++We are here, US of A, and
+++++You will forever wonder at
+++++The mechanics, ignoring
+++++The grammar of bodies
+++++That lust in a different
+++++Syncopation that you dare
+++++Not beat out.

Zipping up, I do not know
If protocol here demands
That the pisser be flushed
Or if the leathermen relish
The acrid build up of a night’s
Shared urine. I choose to
Flush and rejoin my husband
And a stranger
In the alcove in the dark
Above Williams above
His sun.

Timothy Rico-Storey is a part-time lecturer of freshman composition at the University of Louisville, in addition to being a writer and introverted menace. He lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with his husband. You can find him on Twitter at @anilomit

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