In 1976, I moved with my family to Fairbanks, Alaska to teach for a year in the creative writing program at the University of Alaska. I’m still there. I’ve published six books of poetry, as well as a collection of essays. My Collected Poems, 1965-2018 will be out next year. For more information, visit my website: www.johnmorganpoet.com
Your friends: the mystery of their lovemaking--
and since you've never asked one day they tell you
how he rises, carried away, from bed
and runs around the room erect, how she laughs
at him as she writhes, a pillow between her legs.
And then it's over, an action painting of semen
all over the walls. They sleep head to foot as she
sucks his toes. A siren whirs past, a cat
comes through the window and settles between them
purring, then in the morning is gone.
Did it really happen or was it a congruent dream?
Such lovemaking takes the world away. They sleep
all day. The late sun pours its thick yellow
milk all over the sheets. Toward four she sees him
scribbling at his desk, spooning corn flakes
from a bowl left handed. Her random language breaks
over him like love. But later at a movie when she
lays dark fingers on his skin, he squirms.
What's going on on screen is everything to him
as she vows: tonight he'll deny her nothing.
SONNET OF THE LOST LABOR
Comes a day at high spring when everything gluts.
The globules of fat within each cell burst
open and the ecstatic heat, seeding the air
with the damp odor of birth, oozes among the grass.
Came a voice like yours, calling me up the stairs
to where you sat in the bathroom, shaken,
leaking the blood our child had nested in.
I hug you again and feel your pain, lost labor:
the ache of birth six months too soon;
but as I approach that moment's stain, my eyes
haze over, my head begins to float.
At the sight of its blood, death red, sight
fails. You catch the little monster in a cup, save
it for the lab. Christ, Nancy, I am not so brave.
“AND NEVER LOOK BACK”
Two puny butterflies, elfins perhaps, flit
through the bushes, one in pursuit like a hot
summer romance…so unlike our two year
one-sided courtship, because you thought
I was taken, that we were “just friends.” So
the other evening when our granddaughter asked
how we met, you said, “In a group of high school
friends,” but I broke in with my fiercer truth--
“It was love at first sight!” And the folks
around the table breathed out, “Ooh!”
Now those bugs are in another bush. One
hides while the other searches high and low.
The past unveils itself when fiery linkages
recur. He’ll find her again, and off they’ll go.
© 2018 John Morgan
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