Fall/Winter 2016

Brent Newsom


First you stopped coloring
away the gray
then cut your hair
short, shorn
at the base of a neck
I’d not seen in years
except when you twirled
your cascading chestnut locks
up into an all-business bun.
The skin there so baby-soft
I had to touch it
when I’d lay you down
in the meadow
of our bed, afternoon light
peeking around the shades.
You picked bigger earrings,
began to like your new look,
became ever more lovely.
Soon someone else’s tongue
was in your mouth, something
you’d always wanted to do.
You studied: tense,
mood, the vocabulary
of the body, words you might need
in Honduras while helping the sick.
Holding your book in bed,
you'd translate all my parts:
La cadera, la espalda, el cuello.
Hip, back, neck,
and before long it was
besos y besos y besos.


Brent Newsom is the author of the poetry collection Love’s Labors (CavanKerry Press, 2015) and the librettist for A Porcelain Doll, an opera that will premiere in March 2017. He has also published poems in The Southern Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, Measure, and other journals. He co-edits the journal Ink & Letters and teaches literature and writing at Oklahoma Baptist University.



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