Like a lot of my work, these poems are a mixture of erotica, realism, imagery, and nostalgia. As an undergraduate, I was inspired by Charles Bukowski, Anne Sexton, and Sandra Cisneros. I hope you like them.
FINDING THE BATHROOM
This will become the last time I will stumble
down your dark hallway, trying not to wake Rafael,
whose bed is the fold-out couch.
As I search for the bathroom door, the light switch,
and the familiar smell of wet towels and toothpaste,
my sudden, bright reflection appears in the center
of the frosted, round lights surrounding the mirror.
I am filled with the glamour of your touch.
My radiant body imagines itself composed of wild flowers
and sinewy grasses, stretching upwards toward the sun,
never imagining they might be trampled,
mowed down, or scorched by too much heat.
WHAT REMAINS OF HIS NAVY PHOTOS
In the one of the snapshots of my lover,
his young, sun-tanned face is fading,
and what remains in focus is the dark clump of his hair
and a slim, muscular arm holding up a liquor bottle,
the gold-caramel liquid is titled toward his mouth.
His smooth, naked torso is visible, and I can barely make out
the pink nipples I love to bite and the smooth length
of his stomach leading to the baggy line of his jeans.
I touch his nebulous form with affection,
fearing the speed at which his face is vanishing.
I want to stop time this weekend.
We try with high definition video.
He strums his guitar, and I tilt the camera past him,
towards the sky, continuing to think about the fading
pictures from the Philippines. The card table, the liquor bottle,
and the particular bar are gone. What happened to the two other men
and the curly headed teenage girl? What drunken promises of friendship
became rain in a city somewhere in the Midwest?
What dreams dissolved in tedium, and, twenty-years ago,
did my lover imagine me, specifically, or another
woman running on the beach?
average Cro-Magnon man
who has learned
a witty profile
you are no more a feminist
than Napoleon was a pacifist
you are no more a caring lover
than our local strip-club junkie
is a well-balanced guy
just for kicks
for a meal
here and there
to make her think
she means something
more than a hole
to stick your dick in
at least you religiously
wear a condom
but you wear it
because you do not want
to be that close to a woman
at least your arms
and hairy back
are strong enough to lift her
off the ground and make her
believe the spinning feeling
in her stomach is love
but it is not love
you are just a user
you just use her
I have none.
Bite your head off anger,
Afterwards, all I am left with are dead heads
on the swords I’ve slung around.
Relationships drying in the sun.
When it comes to wresting with hurt,
my muscles quiver, and I break into sobs.
Even the surface is too deep:
clouds reflected in a lake could swallow me whole.
Some people are able to break the neck of their ego,
or at least chain and gag it.
Mine resists domestication.
No cowboy can stay astride.
No magician can make it disappear,
and no man has ever cared enough
to ride out the waves with me.
So, give me open ranges and freedom.
Give me fast horses and campfires at night.
I will buy anything that will make my heart beat faster.
I once imagined that the desperado
would be a man I would pine for.
I never dreamed my dreams would
be encircled by barbwire and water moccasins.
Never dreamed I would be this ruthless.
---Lindsay C. Lightfoot