At first I was confused: the afterlife
looked like Florida, the fiery sand;
the company of tan, half-naked man;
the wayward, wilting palms. South Beach, I thought.
“You’re Randy, Randy Mann,” some guy in shorts
informed me. “Nice name.” I was at a loss.
“You’re new. See the queen who’s eyeing you?
That’s Brunetto.” I saw Latini, bronzed;
I smelled the brimstone—then I understood . . .
During the day, I’m damned to perfect my tan.
When prone, I often write the truth in sand:
Dante lied. My fellow sodomites
and I do not regret a blessèd thing:
we loved the only way we knew. That’s that.
We choose to walk, not for fear of being cursed
a century—we mingle. Socialize.
There is no rain, or rain of fire, or fire—
actually the Seventh Circle’s rather nice,
and all my friends are here. The truth? It’s buried
somewhere beneath the surface—there lies Dante,
over on the sand, wearing a thong.