Wendy Taylor Carlisle

What started me up then?
Under the lights
of Jay-Vee games, Fall's excitement
gathered in a boy's dark skin.
I could feel him, a blood twin,
both of us pounding.
January rolled in
from the icy parking lot
as I walked away with a lanky boy
who played round ball.
When we broke up in March.  He cried.
By May, it was an Irish runner.
Shorts were tighter then.
It was only one year.  I apologize.

His sister found him barefoot, a poured-out Jack Daniels
at his elbow.  She said, the life of meat ends in hopeful annihilation.
I said, that man gave me the best smooch I ever had.
He personally abhorred the air-kiss, the cheek-brush, loved instead
to press his real naked belly to my back.  I have a snapshot
of him looking over his shoulder across the airport tarmac
and another, leaning like he always did, against a satiny fender
that just screamed, California!  I'll leave you later,
he joked as he lugged love's real estate
over another border, describing every bluff and scarp along the way.
He knew about the Rocky Mountains, the Oklahoma State line.
He taught me to expand across a Utah horizon
in those first provisional months when my actual size, my narrowness,
didn't come into it.  Then he did leave me, turned off east,
on his way to another Carolina, his face
puffed up with passions he'd saved for later.
But he never meant to go for good.  I hunkered outside
in the southern summer.  He always meant to open the door.

Wendy Taylor Carlisle
Wendy Taylor Carlisle lives in Texas with her husband, David. She has published one full-length book of poetry, Reading Berryman to the Dog, and one poetry chapbook, After Happily Ever After.  Her poems appear in The Poet's Grimm, Is This Forever, or What?  Poems and Paintings from Texas, and most recently Story South, SouthLit, Windhover, and Fringe.



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Contributors' Notes

E. Louise Beach

Anne Becker

Brad Bisio

Jane Blue

John Bush

Wendy Taylor Carlisle

Grace Cavalieri

Norma Chapman

James Cihlar

Ellen Aronofsky Cole

Ruth Z. Deming

Martin Dickinson

Moira Egan

Ronda Eller

Martin Galvin

Bernard Jankowski

Hiram Larew

Lenny Lianne

Michael H. Lythgoe

Judith McCombs

Susan Bucci Mockler

Miles David Moore

Kathi Morrison-Taylor

Bonnie Naradzay

Barbara J. Orton

Steven Pelcman

Roger Pfingston

Jacqueline Powers

Julie Preis

Eve Rifkah

Kim Roberts

Teri Rosen

Helen Ruggieri

Karen Saunders

Karen Schubert

J.D. Smith

Dean Smith

Rose Solari

Margo Solod

Colette Thomas

Steven Trebellas

Rosemary Winslow

Kathi Wolfe

Anne Harding Woodworth

Ernie Wormwood

Katherine Young










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