I can’t imagine
my bottom growing old it’s so soft and white.
I look away from the mirror
I’m at a crossroads where I must choose what I want.
at my writing table with little prospect of success.
A candle is burning In the daytime.
It has began raining
I will go out.
I want a pack of cigarettes. I want a lover.
- from Song of a Younger Madman by Eric Crosley circa 1993
Eric Crosley uses the descriptor ‘eunuch’. Perhaps the poetic stance is a resistance to over definition—a refusal to be boxed in. Eric has gone by Erica and many of their poems are a response to the pleasure, pain and creativity that come from the groin.
Over a course of twelve hours Eric pivots in a smoky room with the sounds of his friend drumming. I, camera in hand, orbit in the opposite direction. The garments that protect the groin are lost. We are running a smoke machine. Everything feels soft.
Six years later our conversations continue. I tell Eric about my hot flashes. Eric hasn’t been to the gynecologist in ages and tells me, “You photographed a twenty-five- thousand-dollar vagina that has never been used.” We talk about aging and our children.
I revisit our photographs. Eric revisits their poems. I cannot tell if we are sad. Ultimately, no matter how we negotiate the politics of our identities, we are always contending with ‘him’.