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Men by D. Nurkse      

First Love II


In whirling snow

I saw a sign

Drugs and ducked in

but there was a girl clerk.

I mimed lost

and plunged on head bent

toward the Potomac

until I came to a Thriftway

and found an old man

in a stained white apron

who knew me and advised:

Lambskin. No scent.

I ran home

with the storm behind me.


Alone in the bare room

I couldn’t resist

the foil crimp —

cool opaque scrim

between me and the city.

I opened my Trojan

and loved how my breath

made it squeak in my hands.


Then you knocked

breathless from the stairs.

We sipped Mateus

and discussed our deaths —

the first wave of bomb

would raze Dupont Circle

in four-hundred-mile-an-hour wind:

we admired our agony

sideways in a cloudy mirror

and as we whispered

we undressed each other

gently, meticulously,

in a moment

I would show you we were safe.




D. Nurkse and Nerve.com   


Highway Sixteen

We raced a borrowed Impala

on Vine Street past porches

where children watched gravely,

then on the freeway,

your hair whipping my cheek . . .

When we heard sirens

we pulled over to the bluffs

and ran inland in the streambeds

then undressed each other

trembling for what we’d lost:

the clarity of the lit gauges:

in the distance a dog keened

but we felt nothing except

the happiness of the body.




D. Nurkse and Nerve.com   


Cut Time

She said, let’s move deeper into the dance,

where men dance with men

and women with women

and old men dance by themselves.

The crowd there is so dense

the huge mirrors are hidden.

She said, other lights

only reveal what is:

that strobe will show us gone.

We’ll kiss in time,

tongues in each other’s mouths,

delighting in that darkness

as if inside the body,

but our names will be silent:

that song is so loud

it’s like walking into stone.



D. Nurkse and Nerve.com