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John Grey



she says:

leery as you are

regarding pleasure,

you can smooth me over,

do me in,

butter me up

go back on your principles,

apply all you’ve learned through wet dreaming,

envelope me in your warm embrace

follow my lead,

and don’t worry,

every piece of each of us

will end up somewhere,

decisively so in some quarters, 

and I may even swallow

what you spit at me.


he says:

just let me know

and I’ll apply the brakes,

remember this is more than just my lust,

somewhere here is my wholeness

as long as it doesn’t smell too much 

like fish,

and why should my longings end up stranded

when you’re so willing to rescue them,

my dearest sensual beacon.

with your braided hair,

and weird geometry…

yes, I can lose myself in these.


they say:

our air heads

our crushing sense of passion,

this beckoning, scary as it seems,

the twitch and gleam,

the eyes so glowingly bewildered,

it’s fine enough to settle on

as a way forward,

if we throw in some tender petals,

ignore the pain in the nether regions,

the blurry lines between love and sex,

the rough edges where sweat bursts clear.

No Surprise is the Best Surprise


Your parents are back together.


You and your three sisters

can’t disguise the exhilaration

but nor can you understand

why the two separated in the first place.


They love each other.

It says so in the letters she’s kept.

And in the photographs 

that adorn every mantle, 

dresser and wall in the house, 

before and after kids show up

in the frame.


You even peeked at them kissing.

At their age.

And hugging despite you 

being in the same room.


There must be something 

you don’t understand as yet,

can’t imagine.

Like the house you live in

suddenly wrecked by an earthquake.

Or the mailman dropping dead

on your front doorstep.


So, for all your joy,

you watch for signs.

Everything seems so solid,

so constant. 

So how do

unforeseen circumstances

get away with it.

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