Say My Name

Rage, muse, sing the rage of Peleus’ son Achilles

Imagine the Atlantic at 4 am. No moon. Black bleaches into blue.  The horizon calls to anyone paying attention.  It is summer. Fire Island. 1984. Up from the beach, splitting the dunes, are ships of war—houses, / private or shared for the summer.

In each house, in every cottage, men lay naked, buttress to the breeze. Some spoon in spent slumber, worn by the daily ritual… Brunch, beach, gym, beach, sex (in the dunes), beach, low tea, sex (at his place), disco nap, dinner, high tea, dancing, sex (your place)

Some, hungry and unwilling to stop, grind together. Relentless. Others wait for morning. Alone.. eyes dilated, legs twitching.

Two moons circle Mars. Phobos and Deimos. Appearing as black spots in the night sky. They reflect almost no light. Still, these moons of fear and dread demand to be seen. They dictate worship. Distant waves against keels knell, “Say my name. Say my name.”

My young man steps silently out a back door. With feline agility he slips past two men from the city sleeping next to the pool. Men who missed the last ferry back to New York. They did not get not lucky tonight.

Even in the dark, my Quilo has advantage. His stride shouts strength. The curve from shoulder to waist to ass is a flow of reinforced concrete. Rebar visible below the surface. His chest, an ocean of stone. A threat of violence and the promise of virility make men notice his approach from a distance.

They stare as he passes. Their cocks swell slightly. Four steps. They turn. They look back. And then, again. Hoping that he too will look back with a covenant of contact.

Calypso circles Saturn. Its icy surface is one of the most reflective in the solar system. This moon is named for the nymph who, longing for an immortal lover, imprisons Odysseus. She seduces him with the ambrosia of amnesia. Tonight she covers the coming apocalypse. “So,” she exhales, “say my name. Say my name.”

Quilo nods to the few others on the boardwalk. His gaze withheld. They will not see his wet, red face. They will not know that, earlier, as he washed off lotion, sand, sweat and cum, he discovered the purple stain. There, just below his muscled calve was that dread mark. The scar of a battle he has yet to engage. It is an early indicator of the new dawn. He knows that in the full sun, those who share this stain burst into heartbreaking flame.

This night our young demigod has discovered the beginning of his end.

The centaur is a new unstable orbital class of celestial object. These planetoids behave as both comets and asteroids. Their seemingly sudden disappearance into the darkness of space has puzzled those who watch the night sky for millennia. There were not recognized as a distinct population of planet until 1977 and the discovery of 2060 Chiron. Part horse, part human, centaurs are notorious for being wild, overly indulgent drinkers, lustful carousers and generally lascivious lovers. Born of sun and rainclouds, these composite creatures are seen as caught between two realms.

Quilo approaches the palisade of trees known as the Meat Rack. From a distance it appears as a solid wall between The Pines and the sea. He know that once he advances a hidden portal opens. Through the entrance beneath the brooding sky a Stygian crypt awaits. In the shadows are men in pairs, men in groups, men watching solo. They enjoy the touch, the flesh, the hunt. Shades of past couplings cross with those of future ghosts.

Quilo does not stop.

One centaur, Chiron, was unique of his kind. Sired by the Titan Cronus, Chiron was a healer, oracle and respected teacher who came to embody the integration of human culture and intellect with the centaur’s bestial instincts and brute force. He raised Achilles from infancy. “I would slumber in his arms,” says Achilles,”and his warm breath on my face would whisper, ‘Say my name, say my name.’”

In the pause between a pulse Qulio is gone. He runs across the dunes. Faster than a man can run.

Eighteen months is what they say. That is how long you have.  But the end will come before death. His name will be said with an apprehensive whisper. The invitations, the calls, the friends. They will disappear with his beauty. There will be no more eyes that look back. Down in the Mineshaft, no one will see the waves that ride his face as he fucks. Hunger. Anger. Satisfaction. Lust. Release. Freedom. There, in the darkness, there are no names to say.

He runs down to the sea where the waves brush their lips against the sand. With no resistance this feral prophet kneels in the sad wet warm. He collapses naked into a child’s curl.

Jupiter’s moons and satellites are named for that god’s many lovers. Unlike most, which circle in groups, the small and irregular Themisto, orbits alone. In an act of revenge, Themisto attempts to kill the offspring of her husband’s second wife. Instead she is tricked into murdering her own children. As their blood dries on her face, she slips into madness. “Say my name. Say my name.”

Quilo stands. Water streams through the black hair on his broad chest and taut stomach. It caresses this faultless body that has launched a thousand dreams. Down past his cock. Over his calves, his ankles, his mark. Back into the sea.

Legs apart. Arms up. He cries out with a rage that, for just a moment, stops the movement of the spheres.

“WHAT THE FUCK!  You shattered the stone walls. You split the sea so that I could rise like Venus. You made me in your image of desire. You let me taste the sweetness of a man. You pulled me into you and held me as I came.”

He steps towards me. Towards the lightened horizon. Waves beat his thick thighs. Blue offers to resolve the contradictions that have punctuate his life. He gives no ground.

“YOU SET ME FREE,” he screams. “You gave me the power to break a man’s heart. There was no limit to my exploration, no pleasure that I could not obtain.  And now..?  And now you tell me that it is over!  NO!!  IT IS NOT OVER!!  It is you who will say my name!  Say MY name!!  SAY MY NAME!!”

3671 Dionysus is a small Amor asteroid, orbiting between the Earth and Mars. It measures approximately 1.5 km in diameter. It is named for the god of wine, madness and ecstasy. As the god of the epiphany, Dionysus’ mission is to liberate. In childhood he is ripped apart and eaten by the Titans, the elders. His heart, however, is recovered by his father, Zeus, who sews the bloody mass into his own thigh. Months later, Dionysus is born a second time. This time of man.

In silence, from the horizon, I cooly responds, “You don’t say no to me….  I say no to you.” There are others much more powerful than I. They shiver, repulsed by the hot sweat of mortal liberation and ecstasy.

For darling Quilo, there is nothing to be done. He will die. Like me, he will be born again. Stronger and more beautiful. And he, once more, will say my name.

If horror is the foreground of wonder, death is the background of life.