Cyclist

Inside the coffeehouse, standing with hands on his bike,

a white racer, not new—there’s tape on the saddle,

as if on the verge of departure, but making

no perceptible movement toward the door,

lingering instead to converse with a friend

seated at one of the small, square tables

near the counter, with a book and a cortado,

but remaining standing himself, as if inseparable from the bike,

in dirty white joggers pushed up to his knees

and a faded black V-neck, not cut deep,

but just deep enough to reveal a hint

of chest hair along the clavicle, his face freckled

by the sun, arms marked by cycling scrapes,

and his brown hair, kind of messy, not badly cut,

just not fussed over, spilling out from under

a backward baseball gap, one strand drooping over his brow,

drawing attention to his eyes, and what seductive

eyes they are, flickering bright, their color shifting

from hazel to blue to grey and back again,

and I’m hoping that he’s not noticing my glances,

even though I’ve chosen a seat facing him

so that I can steal them as I work, taking sips

of coffee as an excuse to look up from my laptop,

not only his appearance attracting me

but also his posture, his demeanor, his seeming

comfort in his skin, peace with his soul,

as the light glitters in his eyes and joy escapes

when a toothy grin registers a joke,

and as I pack up to go, he’s still standing there,

with his bike, in the coffeehouse, and two weeks later,

he’s still standing there, with his bike,

in my mind, his image lodged there yet.

 

Copyright 2019

T. Allen Culpepper

 

Young Man at the Beach

Advisory: Nudity, sexual situation

 

Aware only of himself

and the warm rays of the sun,

he half-dozes, lulled by the

crashing surf, hands wandering

instinctively toward his cock,

his striped towel absorbing

the worries of the week that

he sweats off on his free day,

lazing making on the beach.

 

Copyright 2016

T. Allen Culpepper

 

sunbather

Portrait of a Young Man in Rain

Walking in the rain along Utica Avenue

in black hoodie, dark jeans, and trainers,

with a red backpack, the young man pauses

at the corner of Third Street to wait

for traffic to clear, and when he looks up,

the hood slips backward slightly to reveal

a smooth handsome face content under wavy hair,

eyes bright, mouth not cursing the rain.

 

Copyright 2014

T. Allen Culpepper

Portrait of the Young American as a Student

Working with a group in his English class,

he represents the American male ideal,

blond but not too blond, handsome

but not like a Hollywood star,

in red-plaid shirt, faded jeans,

red classic canvas sneakers.

shows white teeth when he smiles,

furrows brow when he laughs.

An open face, an open manner,

a touch of bravado that masks

a lurking anonymous fear.

 

Copyright 2013

T. Allen Culpepper

Dude in the Art Museum

Tall and skinny, wearing brown felt hat,

with shaggy mop of blond curls sticking out,

red bandana hanging from back pocket

of skinny jeans; white T-shirt short and taut;

 

his outfit completed with brown leather boots.

In the art museum he’s taking a look

at the exhibition of contemporary works.

An eccentric style that suits a young turk.

 

Copyright 2013

T. Allen Culpepper