It Rains

Cheap wine in a plastic cup.

That’s what things have come to,

as I sit on the porch alone

in the overripe loneliness

of an endless summer afternoon

punctuated only

by a pop-up thundershower,

and ponder the inevitable decay

represented by a neighbor’s

flag, its stars hanging heavy,

its stripes tattered at the ends.

 

There’s a season for chasing dreams,

a time to pull away

from  the dead ones.

The hawk still circles

up toward the clouds,

but the squirrel lies

car-flattened in the street.

 

The rain grows harder,

washing in on me,

but I still feel unclean,

and if there’s meaning in it,

I don’t know.

 

Copyright 2018

T. Allen Culpepper

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Speed Swimmers

duckolympics

Like arrows shot from a taut-stringed bow,

a paddling of ducklings pushes off at speed

from the edge of the pond,

almost too quick for the camera’s eye

whenever a human passes.

 

Copyright 2018

T. Allen Culpepper

Hesky Kluk? Check!

He wasn’t actually Czech, of course,

though he checked all of my boxes,

European possibly, or Latin American,

speaking a Romance language to his friend,

in line behind me at the grocery checkout,

buying flowers, lilies, I think, for someone

else, probably one of his lovers,

but I had already checked him out

from produce, over by the mangos,

his hair tied up, muscular T-shirted torso,

lightly-haired legs between shorts and sneakers,

probably an international student at the uni,

not Czech at all, but still a pretty boy.

 

Copyright 2018

T. Allen Culpepper

Happy Yak

I was so surprised to find the yak in the kitchen at 3 a.m.,

especially at this altitude in the middle of summer,

wearing a kilt, rummaging through the fridge

in search of salad greens, and drinking my last beer,

that I was initially speechless, but I eventually

collected myself enough to ask, “Wouldn’t you

be happier at a higher elevation in a significantly

colder climate?” But he only grunted, waved

away my question with a cloven hoof, and

said, “You can research habitats on the internet,

but that doesn’t make you an expert on happiness.”

 

Copyright 2018

T. Allen Culpepper

Preparation

Advisory: Sexually explicit

 

Like a mother cat grooming her young

as they grow toward maturity,

I lick your dick until its resting softness

hardens and reaches its adult potential

to fuck my hungry hole until I  scream and take your load.

 

Copyright 2018

T. Allen Culpepper

A Slow Death and Its Aftermath

Who came first doesn’t make much difference.

The more interesting question is who left first,

and when and how. Was it the one who cheated

and then regretted it, or the one who wanted to and didn’t?

The one who lingered too long at the gym to avoid home,

or the one who came in early and smoked weed

in front of the television? The one who fell asleep

on the sofa, or the one one who drank too much

alone on the back porch late at night when he

couldn’t sleep and there was no porn left to watch?

The one who finally walked out the door, or the one

who locked himself up inside? As far as the why,

that’s a pointless question too. They met, they

coupled, they separated, both, as a result,

a little better off, a little worse. Yellow roses

marked the beginning; red ones, the end.

 

Copyright 2018

T. Allen Culpepper

Rain Memory

Digging out the rain gear for an uncharacteristically wet week in Tulsa

brings back a vision of my undergraduate days in another T-town,

Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where rainy days were more routine than

exception, splashing through puddles from dorm to biology class

in a mass of oxford shirts and khaki, plastic slickers and duck boots.

Carless, I walked everywhere, paying little mind to the weather,

except for choosing the rainy days to show up for all my classes

so I could skip and lounge beside the duck pond on the sunny ones.

 

Copyright 2018

T. Allen Culpepper