Seldom at a loss for words,

I still can’t think how to describe

the motion of his glutes

when he walks in skinny

faded denim cutoffs to

the bar for another iced coffee,

but I have to adjust my own shorts

as his taught curves flex in the

skin-tight fabric.


Copyright 2014

T. Allen Culpepper

Male Beauty Speaks with Musical Voice



Skinny but cute in black tee and cranberry shorts

with golden blond hair attractively shaggy

sitting cross-legged on one of the tall chairs near

the windows, in a position I probably couldn’t

even get into,


Speaking softly in a sweet musical voice to his

friend across the table as they work on homework

for college,


Left-handed, he gestures with the long slender

fingers of his right, arm curving gracefully outward

as in the bird-flapping-wings movement

of tai chi,


And then, as he digs for something in his backpack,

he looks up and smiles, extending a shapely leg,

light-haired and lightly tanned and arching

a sandaled foot,


And I wish for a moment that I were thirty years

younger and back in the day when, under the

right circumstances, I might have been

the friend.


Copyright 2014

T. Allen Culpepper



He’s in front of me at the red light

in a not-new black Korean sports car,

with the driver’s window open, and I

can clearly see his face in the sideview

mirror, early 20s, his light skin

still unlined, good-looking, with hair

and beard both cut short and neatly



From the flexing of his jaw he must

be eating something, his breakfast,

while he waits for the green. I can’t

see what, but from the motion of his

arm, I’m thinking he’s tearing off bits

of a pastry that’s wrapped in crinkly



I don’t know him, probably won’t see

him again; since he’s headed off to

the side of campus opposite mine, we

probably move in different circles,

and anyway, it’s all nothing, this morning



And yet there’s something extraordinary

about the brief reflection, this unplanned

observation of an ordinary private moment

in a stranger’s life, one of so many

miraculous moments that rise up daily, only

to fall like trees in the forest, unseen, unheard,

and unremarked if no one happens

to pass.


Copyright 2014

T. Allen Culpepper



He claimed boredom, and my frustration

yielded to it, but still the young man’s

solicitation surprised me, as did my

eventual offer him.


Though we both thought better not

at that moment when talk verges

on action, we both needed touch,

the feel of flesh against flesh;


sexual release, yes, but maybe even more,

those few minutes afterward when,

no matter how casual the encounter,

the spent lovers wrap themselves together


around the brief comfort of mutual being

before the banished world rushes

back into the vacuum of reality

and each must confront it alone.


Another time, we said, but it’s not likely.


Copyright 2014

  1. Allen Culpepper

Jaguar Cub


A vacant habitat, a sense of disappointment,

but then a perked-up nose and emerald eyes appear

within a square of darkness at the opening of the den,

and he struts out, shoulders prominent,

sniffing out his territory, scratching on a tree’s exposed roots,

stretching into an impressive yawn, surveying the

sealed-off voyeurs scrambling for a better view of him,

spotted in more ways than one, finally propping his chin

on the low stone wall, with oversized paws out in front,

granting the photo op.


Copyright 2014

  1. Allen Culpepper