Shaking and Stirring

Behind the bar with silver shaker,

mixing cocktails with practiced flair,

a little entertainment for customers’ sake.

Trim and handsome, beard, blond hair.


Always smiling and well dressed:

today, red trousers, navy vest.

I think he’s officially a sommelier,

but is he straight or is he gay?


Can’t tell the color of his eyes,

but they’re animated, bright.

He clearly does his work with pride.

I wonder what he’s doing tonight.


Copyright 2014

T. Allen Culpepper


What’s the Story?

At the Cuban coffee shop,

leaning back, feet up on chair,

looking thoughtful, working on laptop.


A summer mix of scruffy and neat:

slicked-back hair and smartish shirt

over washed-out grey cutoff jeans,

sneakers standard black low Converse.


Is he reading, writing me

on that little computer screen

as I am him? That would be weird.

He stretches, yawns, strokes his beard.


Of course, I’m being silly;

It’s unlikely I’m his subject really,

and now he no longer types,

just reads something amusing, smiles.


But I’d be interested; he’s not bad-looking—

seems intelligent, maybe bookish;

dirty blond, light complexion,

nice legs that he’s flexing.


Our eyes cross paths, but I can’t tell

if there are sparks. His headphones

discourage a greeting as he checks his cell,

puts some funky shades on.


Copyright 2014

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

Relationship Potential

Standing shirtless at the curb,

checking messages on his cell.

February, but he’s not disturbed–

a springlike break from wintry hell.


He slides the phone into his jeans,

pulls the dumpster around back,

wobbly wheels making a racket.

Not over-muscled or too lean,


just appealingly ordinary:

old-school tats, nothing crazy,

dark hair and beard, eyes look hazel;

probably the kind you’d eventually marry.


Copyright 2014

T. Allen Culpepper

Shirtless and Eager

Dark blond hair, stiffly gelled,

bright blue eyes, chest is bare.

Charm on leather necklace dangles,

tattoos nearly everywhere.


Bright-colored sleeve on the right

comes up to shoulder, round to nipple,

on his left side another, simpler;

by the way, his abs are tight.


His navel’s decorated too,

abstract design, vaguely Eastern,

boxers, checked, white and blue,

showing above low-slung jeans.


He’s on the hunt, if I’m right,

for someone to do tonight.


Copyright 2013

T. Allen Culpepper


He’s obviously straight with girlfriend,

but I can’t help being attracted

by brooding eyes, mischievous grin;

he has me totally distracted.


Eavesdropping is not my intention,

but when he speaks he gets my attention:

resonant voice, baritone.

(It’s too bad he bites his nails, though.)


His hair’s dark, he’s slender and tall.

I’m trying to write, but I’m in his thrall.

He probably doesn’t go for guys,

but I cannot resist those eyes.


Copyright 2013

T. Allen Culpepper

If You Are, I Will

Late thirties, maybe, blond hair ruffled,

close-cropped beard, freckles scattered about,

light skin, blue suit, carrying duffel,

probably headed to gym to work out.


Straightening tie with right hand,

nice watch on left wrist, no wedding band.

Gaydar’s not infallible,

and this one’s really hard to call.


Do you like men? sounds silly to say,

but I will do you if you’re gay.


Copyright 2013

T. Allen Culpepper