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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




with the train’s

                                    while a wheel




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




toward his

                                    as he lifts his



                                    to lip you

while stripping



his eyes;

                                    within seconds,



                                    they seem

to be weeping



red wine,




                                    or maybe


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).

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