Friday, May 10, 2019

El Novio


He drinks books of Neruda, Lorca, the words
around him and he gives them back to me, not
spoken, but kissed. I shudder from his grace
that for a boy of our age is rare. I am in awe
each time he turns to me. His dark eyes flash
with the fever of those who can see

Heaven. We plan to run away. We cannot
find an idol. To soothe our search, we make
music, to survive the tempo of the keeping
of our secret affair. We are sixteen, sopho-
mores, in constant reach for another world. This one
is cruel, unkind. Here, they will not allow us to

dance. They pull us apart, send us to corners. He refuses
to marry a woman. He is disowned. I think of him
constantly as I endure the endless search for another
sure thing. In my absence, he leaps from a nine story
window. When I hear the news, I cling to ballads, Spanish
poetry, his palm against my cheek. The gentle sweet


David-Matthew Barnes

This poem originally appeared in the 2009 issue of the literary journal Inscape, published by Washburn University.

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