The Grocery Store

April 2, 2020

I’m in a grocery store with a gorgeous girl
I say hello, and she says goodbye
I say hello again, and she says hi.

You call that a breakfast? I tease
staring at the pack of cigarettes and energy
drinks in her cart.

She says goodbye again, and I say hello
I say hi, and I ask her if she wants my number
while we’re waiting in line.

I’m in a grocery store with a gorgeous girl
who’s starting to get pissed off but she smiles
and I smile back, and she stares, and I say stop that.

She’s wearing a pink mickey mouse t-shirt
and I mention what a cool shirt she’s wearing
because I’m a big fan of people who like disney stuff.

You’re weird, she says it cold like the rain outside
and I say no I’m not raising the tray of eggs and syrup
and she says goodbye I’m not talking to you anymore.

I’m in a grocery store with a gorgeous girl
who’s really just my girlfriend who has a kink for
pretending that we’re strangers at the most random places.

She laughs, and I kiss her by the forehead
and I say hello, and she says goodbye
I say hello again, and she says hi.

Juansen Dizon

The loneliness of men bathing

February 16, 2019

No one bothers to imagine men in baths.
None of us sitting home alone
On a dull, rainy evening
Thinks of the nude male body
Half-floating, eyes closed, in scented water
Littered with petals, loosening himself
Into the liquid grace of muscular abandon,
One arm perhaps draped over the bath’s edge
Beckoning unconsciously, the left hand
Drawing a long, slow line along
The silkened, opened, underwater skin
Of an upper thigh until it reaches
Tactile complications at the loins
And just gets lost.

The lovely self-involvement of this wet
Body, slightly stirring, aromatic
Weightless, gorgeous, given up to pleasure
Is no secret, but still the event
Goes unattended, night after night
Year after year.
People imagine something else; men rise
From dirty, unimagined water
Put on an old bathrobe
Make tea and clip their nails
Without so much applause
As a single caught breath
Or pair of widened eyes.

O fragrant, oiled Odysseus, O Marat
Interrupted, O Bloom in your indolent tub
O Christ in heaven and your feet
In Mary Magdalene’s hair, forgive me!
Think of me, from now on, thinking of you —
Vigilant, breathless, crazy with desire.

Mary Campbell