By D. A. Powell b. 1963
Where we could be boys together. This region of want:
the campestrial flat. The adolescents roving across the plat.
Come hither. He-of-the-hard would call me hither.

Sheer abdomen, sheer slickensides, the feldspar buttes
that mammillate the valley right where it needs to bust.

And I could kiss his tits and he could destroy me
on the inflorescent slopes; in his darkest dingles;
upon the grassland’s raffish plaits. And he could roll me
in coyote brush: I who was banished to the barren
could come back into his fold, and I
would let him lay me down on the cold, cold ground.

Clouds, above, lenticular, the spreading fundament,
a glorious breech among the thunderheads
and in their midst, a great white heron magnifies
the day. We’d keep together, he and I,
and we’d gain meaning from our boyage; we’d pursue
each other through the crush of darkling rifts.
Climb into each other’s precipitous coombes.

Where would it end, this brush and bush, this brome
and blazing star? There is always some new way
to flex a limb and find its secret drupe.

Not only the hope of nature; the nature of hope:

so long as culverts carry us, so long as we stay ripe
to one another’s lips, and welcoming to hands,
as long as we extend our spans, to tangle them,
as spinning insects do their glistered floss.

This is not a time to think the trumpet vine is sullen.
Rather: the trumpet’s bell is but a prelude.
It says we all are beautiful at least once.
And, if you’d watch over me, we can be beautiful again.  

Source: Poetry (October 2011).


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

October 2011
 D. A. Powell


Born in Albany, Georgia, D.A. Powell earned an MA at Sonoma State University and an MFA at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His first three collections of poetry, Tea, (1998), Lunch (2000), and Cocktails (2004), are considered by some to be a trilogy on the AIDS epidemic. Lunch was a finalist for the National Poetry Series, and Cocktails was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry. His next two books were . . .

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SUBJECT Living, Time & Brevity, Youth, Love, Desire, Relationships


Poetic Terms Free Verse

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