Poetry Suite by David Mohan
Editor Carrie Seitzinger, Poetry, November 28th, 2013
You hold me under, play wrestle—a body pin.
Black Dog Tattoo
You wear yours where only a lover
will find it, on your inner thigh
as though it were a dog let off
its leash to piss and sniff
beside your pubic bone.
I traced the black dog’s spine,
its wolfish nape down through
to where its maw gapes howling
under the arc of your cock—
an emblem of the wilderness.
I wondered had it hurt, what
brought its own phantom scavenger
to mind. You made it flash
in black ink by flexing your leg
in the swim of our bed.
+ + +
The Pick Up
I was on the corner of Main. Our arrangement stated half past seven. His wife was at her mother’s—I wore jeans and an open shirt. He stops in his Oldsmobile beside the drug store.
This dusk is like the latest bruise across my throat.
In the motel, your kiss is aftershave, guys surfing on thirst. This scratch in the dark might be stubble on your chin. You hold me under, play wrestle—a body pin.
I am drowning in your marriage.
+ + +
The hustle goes like this—
you wait at the bottom,
lost in weed, eyes chameleon,
your tail a flirtish curl,
as hesitant as a comma,
an aquatic rhizome.
I come out of coral,
the swaying forest of sea grass,
seeking seduction, my husband.
We shall swim side by side,
like riders, coronets
of our heads held upright.
Spiralling as we rise,
our snouts facing, we drift
like shrimp until, our courtship done,
I give you herds of Highland stock,
of Suffolk Punch, Exmoor—
one clutch of perfect miniatures.
+ + +
That night we shared the attic bedroom,
swam underwater, green shade’s olive depths,
bathing to wash off our work sweat, our skin
dyed amber by spots of last dash sun.
One hombre beside his mirror image,
who fell to drink wherever late light spilt,
his mouth lapping at violet pink swirls
of dark—dusk carnations, a forest’s moss.
The hot city outside glanced the drapes
open, letting the traffic heave against the Os—
raw scales of breath climbed through the skylight,
rinsing the close room’s air of its static.
One drank, the other keeping time with drums—
the downstairs stutter of a nightclub’s beat.
+ + +
What My Mother Taught Me
A mother rarely teaches a son her craft,
that is—something I could never picture—
and now ever-mysterious after her death.
But what she said once was alike to this:
you’ve got to get out of this conversation soon,
some time before we’ve finished speaking.
Not a proverb, not plain wisdom, nor truth,
her take on how we’d said too much in our manner.
I am stuck on remaining factual with nothing else left,
besides words spun out of a slowing down,
a chance remark from where we presently stood—
it’ll be easier if you leave me before I leave you for good.
+ + +
David Mohan has been published in or has work forthcoming in Stirring, Poetry Salzburg Review, New World Writing, decomP, Word Riot, Alba and elimae. In 2012 he won the Café Writers’ International Poetry Competition. His poetry has been shortlisted for The Bridport Prize and nominated for The Pushcart Prize.