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Two Poems photo


other names for gay boys

in homage to Danez Smith's "alternate names for black boys"

1. ship in the dark
2. red stains on a fence
3. kindling
4. a storm denied lightning
5. the lilac bush that blooms late
6. lockers full of the unsayable
7. illuminated squares
8. a change of heart
9. pearls for the gentry
10. marriage material
11. salvaged material
13. some burning islands
14. neon blush
15. small town streets
16. four sets of hoofbeats 
17. a mother’s slow nod
18. a father’s long look
19. visible ribs



Tonight, opened ground—
as if, breast to breast, a break
in the Jordan.           
                        Peace be
the lover that ends

first.    Dusty hill-lands, razor
wire confused for hell-
fire. I eclipse your concrete
shore               curves, seeker to

the inner folds, and you just
lay there, always trying to
say something with your        hips.
A blooming province, and burst

of olive— I can neither end you

            become you. Desert silence
in place of warm whispers. Peace be
the lover that remains

inexorably       whole. Body to body,
you ignore the discomfort. Binary      moon
over my shoulder and onto your
shadowed face, heart               cocked at

electric noon. The night-hurts
between us, salty and raw, bear
an arm, a leg.               A fragmented             dare:
Isn’t this what
                        you always wanted?




image: Julian Vargas