Steven Sanchez – Self-Portrait as Lucifer

Steven Sanchez

Self-Portrait as Lucifer

Hell is a halo in the night,
the orange ring on a cigarette,

a gentle asphyxiation I learn
to endure, to enjoy, to need.

And when I finally say enough,
it isn’t, because lies, like words,

are meaningless
with repetition—they become

an unfamiliar language. My name
comes from Latin: bringer 

of light, the moons released
inside of me, the men I have forgotten.

Bareback, I’ve offered my neck
for them to clasp in prayer

until I swear I can almost feel
something, like the first time

I choked on a Camel Crush
and recalled how much I love

air, because I think I’ll care
about my life again. 

And, for a moment, I do—
my heat held in hand

like a menthol
ready to ash.

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