Unlit Rooms

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First Love

Quick, in the closet, she said.

Walter Gray is coming home.

I knelt among her calf-high boots

with my eye in the keyhole.

They undressed each other

and made slow love.

In a window behind them

snow fell and a pigeon

preened on a cornice.

I shivered with love.


they shared a cigarette

and Walter spoke of Khe Sanh,

the majesty of tracer fire

like the Aurora Borealis.

At dusk they roused themselves.

She took a dancer’s step

toward me, then veered

and found mules under the bed,

a robe in the bathroom.

Walter’s voice hardened.

It’s dark. I’m hungry.

They were gone.

I wriggled into my pants

and took my first drag

on a butt still wet

from both their mouths.




D. Nurkse and Nerve.com   


The Unlit Room

What I liked about loving you

was being no one,

looking out the window afterwards,

showing you the laundry, the flag,

the tiny ruled streets

where someone once met you,

adored you, persuaded you

to climb the narrow steps

pausing at each landing, waiting

for the heart to stop racing.





D. Nurkse and Nerve.com   


The Blue House By The River

My spell was weak

but it worked

When she slipped

her tongue in my mouth

that girl was more me than I.

Her hair smelled like Ohio

and her fingertips like Missouri.

Ignorant as lightning

her cat watched

with cold suffering eyes

and I mistook

my voice for hers

because it gasped in disbelief.





D. Nurkse and Nerve.com   


Late Summer

When the rain woke me

I no longer knew

and had to guess:

this is the sheet,

that is the wineglass,

that’s a fly,

a cloud is passing in the dark window,

it’s late summer,

this is my friend

naked in my arms.




D. Nurkse and Nerve.com