top of page

Tight blue jeans

                                    rushed down

 

 

                                    to your thighs,

thong strap

 

 

tugged aside,

                                    you’re riding

 

 

                                    him cowboy

by tracks

 

 

in a downpour.

                                    I—I’m about to,

 

 

                                    he stutters

and shutters

 

 

his eyes.

                                    In the glare

 

 

                                    of a nearing train,

he appears

 

 

                        *

 

 

 

 

to be crying;

                                    it’s just rain.

 

 

                                    His cadence

synchs

 

 

with the train’s

                                    while a wheel

                                   

 

                                    flings

from a rail

 

 

into your neck

                                    the lid

 

 

                                    of a sardine tin

and the locomotive

 

 

blows its whistle,

                                    your trick

 

 

                                    his cargo,

you yours.

                                   

 

                        *

 

 

 

 

 

A thistle’s

                                    in wind,

 

 

                                    your head

lists

 

 

toward his

                                    as he lifts his

 

 

                                    to lip you

while stripping

 

 

his eyes;

                                    within seconds,

 

 

                                    they seem

to be weeping

 

 

red wine,

                                    merlot

 

 

                                    or maybe

inferno.

What Other Choice by Jeremy Halinen (he/she/they/it) won the 2010 Exquisite Disarray First Book Poetry Contest, judged by Kathleen Flenniken. Their poems have appeared or will in journals including Cimarron Review, Greensboro Review, the Los Angeles Review, Meridian, Notre Dame Review, Poet Lore, and Sentence and in anthologies including Best Gay Poetry 2008 (A Midsummer Night’s Press/Lethe Press, 2008); Collective Brightness: LGBTIQ Poets on Faith, Religion & Spirituality (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2011); A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry (University of Akron Press, 2012); Pale Fire: New Writing on the Moon (Frogmore Press, 2019); and volume 3 of Aurora - The Allegory Ridge Poetry Anthology (Allegory Ridge, 2022).

Related Features

bottom of page