He puts my hand against his chest
so his nipple can read the lines on my palm.
He insists in his certain voice
that the beat in his chest isn’t a beat at all,
but an echo: the sound of two fearful feet
heading down into some poorly lit cave
made of bats and blood red gems.
He tells me again. He’s told me before.
The feet walk slower the further down they go.
No, I say, taking my hand back.
It’s a heart. It’s always been a heart.
I say it once for him, once for myself.
He steps back and looks at me;
he needs to tell me the story again.
"The Fabulist" originally appeared in the last edition of Ganymede, edited by John Stahle.
A 2010 Pushcart Prize Nominee, Saeed Jones received his MFA in Creative Writing at Rutgers University – Newark. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in publications like Hayden's Ferry Review, StorySouth, Jubilat, West Branch, Weave, The Collagist & Line Break. His chapbook When the Only Light is Fire is forthcoming from Sibling Rivalry Press. His blog For Southern Boys Who Consider Poetry is dedicated to emerging queer poets of color.