Wichita Triptych

By Stephen Yenser Stephen Yenser
Sometimes the rain shines
Just when the sun reigns,
And that was the way it is
Beyond those French doors
That late afternoon here
In this mind’s early evening
Where they still fade in
That cool color Polaroid,
Pastel shades of her prom dress,
A bowl of double peonies,
Promising, precocious,
Trying, trying to open.


Their friend and he were tight
Tight-rope walkers, self-taught
Taut-trope-talkers, stalking
Jamb-up, arm-in-arm
And caroling to lucky stars
Their bars and rebars,
The night a carousel
Of tryst and troth,
Of casual carousals,
Cocky arousals,
Pitching the dark to the dark.
(Streetlight and moth,
Reader, she married both.)


But then there he was,
In the morning’s mourning,
Proustian mignon,
Aesthetic ascetic
And Kansas rube
Reducing his thought
To a bouillon cube
That no one hot
Ought ever pore over.   

Source: Poetry (May 2011).


This poem originally appeared in the May 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

May 2011
 Stephen  Yenser


Editor, critic, professor, and poet Stephen Yenser is the author of the poetry collections Blue Guide (2006) and The Fire in All Things (1993). A winner of the Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets, he has also received an Ingram Merrill Foundation Award in Poetry and the Bernard F. Connors Prize for Poetry from the Paris Review.
Yenser’s poems range in setting from L.A. to Greece and reveal his literary acumen . . .

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SUBJECT Relationships, Men & Women


Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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