The fashion shot ostensibly displays
a necklace made by a famous jeweler,
but the jewelry, only partially visible,
might be the last thing that the viewer notices
when opening up the double-page spread of the nude
young man reclining on a figured coverlet,
dark, curly head propped on an arm-supported
pillow, his brown eyes longing, his mouth revealing
frustration, whether with desire or merely
some petty disappointment not made clear.
The photographer having coaxed him into
a half roll from stomach to right side,
the model presents his body in pleasing curves,
from peak of shoulder slightly flexed, through gentle
slope down to lower back and then smooth rise
from slender hip to buttock, and underneath
the shadowed depression just hinting at unseen
genitalia, blue-inked old-school tattoo
just where inner thigh and abdomen
come together, a tree beside water.
Yes, I had forgotten; he wears a necklace,
a slender, unremarkable chain of gold.
Note: This poem responds to a photograph by Fabiola Zamora that appeared in the November 2013 issue of Out.
T. Allen Culpepper