by John Grey
Church Of First Sex
I was ahead of my years.
I even started my own religion,
sacrificed whatever I could
to the god of darkened movie theaters
or the impressionable sunshine of a spring lake shore.
It was such a natural phenomenon.
Some blondes, some brunettes,
some touched, some watched through a window
with borrowed binoculars.
I was a moveable church
on a mission of animal spirits.
The angels undressed.
The saints licked their lips.
The teenage altars never saw it coming.
Hymns of heavy breath,
church of great anxiety...
and no one worshiped there but me.
Morning On Lake Como
Whoevers in the bed behind you
He is not where the warmth, the light,
are coming from.
Nor is he the glistening blue lake,
the fancy homes and hotels
along the shore,
the sun rising over the mountains.
Let the other move about.
He wont attract your attention.
He can call out to you.
You will not hear.
You have no head, no heart,
for any life
that is not what your eyes can see.
From a window,
you lean out toward the day.
No one can stop you.
I Am A Poet Because
Okay I admit it, I'm a poet
but if I was younger, had a better build,
I'd be a male stripper.
Or if I was smarter,
had the education
and the dedication,
I'd be that brain surgeon
or rocket scientist
always talking about.
And if I could deal
I'd be in sales.
And could sing,
I'd be in show business.
I'm a poet
for the same
number of reasons
as there are occupations
that I've neither
the will, the inclination
nor the talent
And, most of all,
I am a poet
because this is a poem
and not two pipes fitted together
or a baby delivered
or an ocean liner
steered into port.
Yes, I am a poet
because someone had to write this.
It was a close thing.
The man is lying flat-out on the hot sand.
The lifeguard is pumping his chest.
A gurgle of salt water
rolls out of his lips
followed by a briny cough
that clears his lungs.
His wife, in a panic,
rushes up and down the beach,
waving a white towel.
His children look up from their sandcastle,
suddenly realize its their parents
who are at the center of all the commotion.
Dangerous rip out there, the lifeguard says.
The man is panting like a hound on a hot day.
He tries to give thanks
but his words cant get out of his throat.
A shoreline of punching hearts
slowly recedes into the calm of tanning.
One guy, from the serves him right camp,
releases his smirk,
goes back to admiring the tattoos
on his chest.
A life could have ended just like that.
So many could have been witness
to their first drowning.
But near-death is not death.
A man can get a hug out of it,
Kids dont have to go to any wake.
They can make a joke about their old man
joining up with the Little Mermaid.
The crowd gain a topic of conversation
but dont have to face their own inbuilt obsolescence.
And the lifesaver can toss it all off as,
Just doing my job.
He has no need to ponder
what the job is doing to him.
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