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November 9, 2020 Poetry

Two Poems

Ben Togut

Two Poems photo

Two Men Dancing

after Mapplethorpe

Crowned shadows waltz
in an empty ballroom. No music,
just tempo—feet skimming
across hardwood. Locked
they are unlikely kings,
bodies white as cut marble.
One poised, eyes fixed ahead,
his partner half-dreaming
on his shoulder.
How thrilling to know
closeness like this,
to let a man captain
your body, steering
through the waters ahead.
They linger in silence,
amorphous shadows
blended into a dark star.



Gloaming: August

Saturday evening and the sky
is a pointillist's dream, jeweled 

a ghost white. Parting a sea
of wildflowers, I find a rabbit

pacing in frenetic circles on the dock.
I clap my hands so she’ll move out of the way 

but she is still, eyes vacant. I clap again 
and startled she leaps into the reeds

by the pond. It’s late summer and cirrus
clouds form lazy chemtrails in the sky.

I try to appreciate the horizon, the throng
of geese curving above me, but I can’t stop

listening to the rabbit, her small body 
thrashing in dark water. The pond’s surface

is a mirror where the rust of sunset 
dissolves, a second sky.



image: Radek Pestka