Leo & Lance


                    for David Trinidad

I was seventeen
in Orlando,
heading toward

Orange Blossom Trail,
where the porn was.
Fairvilla Video,

its fried, freshened air.
I was terrified
but also thrilled,

on the edge.
Can anyone even
remember how hard-

won a little corner
of sex was then,
no internet,

no hope,
no combination?
I can’t; I can.

In an
elaborate bid
to convince

myself and the clerk
I was bisexual,
I bought a bisexual

that I can’t recall,
and a box

that made my heart stop:
Leo & Lance.
(VHS wasn’t cheap:

I spent all
my allowance.)
I can measure

this adventure
in increments
of shame:

tape loop,
the run-walk

to my red Buick
(no one could miss me),
the peel out.

And the drive home,
cruel cellophane . . .

Leo Ford,
born Leo John Hilgeford,
looked like California

by way of Dayton.
There was his tender
love of Divine,

that rumored three-way
on Fire Island
with Calvin Klein.

Late in his career
he raised rare birds,

at Project Angel Food.
He was versatile:
so much to give.

And Lance,
David Alan Reis,
from Santa Barbara,

or maybe Oklahoma.
Poor orphan,
the stints

in jail,
IV drugs,
and conversion.

Leo and Lance
had the chance
to work together

twice on film—
Leo & Lance and
Blonds Do It Best

and more than once
on the corner.
Where have all

the hustlers gone,
They died

weeks apart,
in 1991.
Lance first,

in May,
in San Jose,
of AIDS complications.

On the death certificate,
his job is listed
as “model of clothing.”

That July,
Leo on his motorcycle
was struck by a truck

on Sunset. “Chillingly,
Leo had played
a motorcycle accident

victim in Games,”
says IMDB,
so those who knew

his oeuvre
might have seen it coming.
After the wake at Josie’s,

his ashes were scattered
by the Golden Gate Bridge.
A tree in India—

IMDB again,
as if the truth matters—
was planted in his name . . .

As I try
to get this right,
I pull up my cache

of scanned porn.
Leo & Lance:
it begins in synth,

Cali melancholy
canyon light,
and here’s Leo,

running up a hill
in tight denim,

letterman jacket
thrown over his shoulder—
now the tinkling

piano; now’s a good time
to jerk off
by the last of the snow.

God, bottle-blond Leo.
But wait, who
is that loping up the hill,

gawky, rugged, also blond,
a dumbfounded wow
uttered as he watches

Leo shoot? Of course:
it’s Lance. Before
they formally meet,

before they go
back to the lodge
and do what they do

better than life,
they have a little snowball fight,
brief, unexpectedly sweet—

like children in the street.