Wine Merchant

In the market stall,

he sits on a stool,

wearing a red plaid shirt,

trucker cap, and blue shorts,

hawking locally made wines,

extolling this and that one,

a cut young man with eyes like wells—

if he leaned back against a wall,

you could jump in them and dive down

to another hemisphere’s dawn—

and a handsome face adorned

with blond scruff—adored wine-god

of a more recent vintage—

and from this point of vantage,

I’d say that what he pours

I’d drink and ask for more.

Copyright 2015

T. Allen Culpepper


Cowboy hot as the summer evening,

shirtless in serious boots and high-rise jeans,

abs tight enough to make me grieve

that he’s packing up his gear and leaving.


He’s been fishing in Braden Pond,

reeling for small fry with his rod.

If he widened his range of prey,

something else might come his way.


But he mounts his red steel steed

and leaves all the boys in need.


Copyright 2014

T. Allen Culpepper

Running for Kentucky

In U of Kentucky blue,

traveling for a track event,

college athletes good-looking and lean,

all friendly, but polite and quiet.

Most are dressed in warm-up pants

or sweats as they check in

and find their hotel rooms,

but one, light and graceful

on his feet–I think of Shakespeare’s

Tempest Ariel–wears his

running shorts as streetwear,

made of the lightest nylon,

and so little of it that they

reveal more than they cover,

clinging to his body’s contours.

He seems totally un-self-conscious,

not trying to show off,

though surely he must know

that he looks good in them,

that watchers admire his toned

and shapely legs, speculate

about the removal of those

shorts, about what’s underneath.


Copyright 2013

T. Allen Culpepper