J Sloane

forty dollars a night will not get much of a room
but it'll do
all we really need is a bed and a sink
she thinks the walls could be thicker
it's not something that I think about

she's standing at the edge of the bed
getting dressed,
no, readjusted
smoothing her skirt around her knees,
buttoning her shirt,
getting her ring

she runs her hands through her hair
and says that she needs to touch up her roots

I say that I like a black stripe on a blonde girl,
and that it matches her raccoon eyes

she laughs and takes a swing at me

then she gets a look and says that we fuck desperately
she's quiet for a minute
a smile then, and "But I'm desperate to be fucked."

and I pull her back onto the bed and run my hand up her leg.
she kicks and moans and bites my shoulder

and I think that in this room, in this light
she is desperately, devastatingly, painfully beautiful
and this is why I came south
and that she needs to keep that ring

because I cannot hold onto this
Eve Anthony Hanninen
Hymn to the Crack of Light

I'm a deep closet,
nearly as long as the one
in childhood's bedroom. Towards the rear
        where it's darkest,
the ceiling slants, just space enough
to fold elbows and knees into the gaps
of hems and trousers,
        pockets, sleeves,
and this is also where I hung
a crucifix I don't pray over.
Instead, the moaning choir
and accusations harmonize: Why
that, why me, why now?

        A slab of blue
pearlized plastic and brass
half-naked man, whose angst-rubbed limbs
lost their sheen to sweaty oils,
to surrogation.

                He becomes he --

who vacillates because I'm not
real, no more than he
in the pub, when all vexations rise
to float above the brine of drowning music.
        I'll take it back -- the rushed admission
tomorrow. Decide I will
each night.
        Surge forward with confessions,
        with gritted-teeth,
        with recantations.
He'll flounder against internal tides,
        his flippancy: Light
                a candle, chill more wine,
fall back
        on charms, on pantomime;
and should I start to leave my closet,
he'll leap to shut its door,
                make for escape.