Sunday Poem


Sex is in the eyes and the smell and the past. The hint
of sweat from straw-colored hair. The taste
of a smile. The lilting voice. The slow catch of silk
on nipples. No man covets shoes, though some
covet memory. Delilah, I miss you. I miss
Tulsa dying in the rearview, the sickly linger
of your cigarettes. But I’m not humping the passenger seat
anymore. Remember the time we got stuck in a ditch chasing
a field fire? A farmer called a sheriff, refused to tow us,
and kept his snake-rifle on us while we scrambled
to find wood to shove under the tires. He was afraid
we’d steal the night, the fire, the slow death of not knowing
what to believe that choked his heart. But we were
all first sons, whistle-britches, all looking for a place
to stick our hearts for safe-keeping. The boarded-over windows
of our mothers’ eyes watched from graves half dug
but not full yet. We were forever looking back, saying:
we will stand tall when the winds die down.

by C.L. Bledsoe
from Blast Furnace, Jan. 2011