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READ: Poems From West Hollywood's First Poet Laureate, Steven Reigns

READ: Poems From West Hollywood's First Poet Laureate, Steven Reigns

The Dead

I read his obituary.
Not only will he never
breathe, eat, or sleep,
he will never fuck.
I remember the hot tub,
his wandering hands
and I feel honored
to have shared that with him.

I’ve shared sex
with so many
that are now dead,

been there to give a moment of pleasure
to a shortened life.

Knowing them in ways
their mourning mothers couldn’t have known.
Knowing their bodies
not like the back of my hand or hometown
but as a quick destination I’d visit
for adventure, excitement, ejaculation.

I knew their bodies
when they had pulses,
when their heartbeats quickened
and their chests heaved
with the intensity of orgasm.

To desire them now feels odd
as the very vessel
I lusted for decomposes.

And when one of our sexual scenes
flashes through my mind during masturbation,

I appease my guilt,
remind myself
that this is a way I knew them.

An ex-lover’s way
of honoring the dead
and honoring the places I touched
that cannot be touched again.

One of these days, Alice

America watched as
he told her in fits of rage where he’d send her,
where she’d travel,
and we sat back and laughed.
He was going to send her to the moon,
the man who had no connections to NASA.
The woman who had no desire for flight,
no astrological ambitions
except marrying to cure cosmic loneliness.

Her ticket to travel was his punch.
The conductor apprenticed under his father,
a man who gave his wife weekly boarding passes
for burnt dinners, overspending, being demanding.

Their marriage was no honeymoon
as young girls watched,
housewives cooked dinner,
and young boys dreamed of moon travel.


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