The Swing

The Swing long poem

Photo by gagilas

You’ve never starved yourself
you’ll never be a runway model
and for a time that made you sad
never to be like an Amazon – though
you found out they burnt off their right breast
to make archery easier – so never to be
more than human-sized, emotionally remote
eyes scouring your form looking for an entry
into the land of your gauzy privacy

You’ve never starved yourself except
for attention – giving up sleep, grades,
friends, art to obsess over someone
trying to become telepathic by force of will,
girls for a time, then boys, then both
wanting to be wanted so badly, to have them
suffer as you suffered bound by your sheets
twisting insomniac chains for yourself
bedsprings groaning quietly all night
trying to invade their dreams to see yourself
as they saw you and learn the secrets of their love.

you’ve never starved, that much is apparent,
you’re honest with yourself, locked away in the shower
free to feel yourself lubricated by steam
fantasizing about all those things you can give up
give to your idol, the entire litany of firsts
hoping to start with a kiss because you’ve already
felt their damp palm in passing, it was magical
and you sense they felt it too, with summer
still a week away so whatever was so sultry
came from the chemistry between you

you ate so well on your date, just a meal
then out walking the neighborhood for hours
as you progressed your sweat got more and more
intimate, you reveled in the sauna of their regard,
words flowed from both of you, laughter,
and everything that ever bound you fell away
leaving you to wonder how you could still be trapped
on the ground. when you reached the park
you swam upstream through all those childhood
memories, rejected the smiling faces of parents,
ran for the swingset, shedding clothes still on your date
though suddenly alone, naked for yourself
become the center of a physics problem you don’t care
to fully understand, just rocking to start, deaf,
and with the moon below the horizon mostly blind
undulating as a pendulum until you begin to fly
sweat beginning to run in rivulets with your arc
exterior world grey on grey on black as you rise
then fall laughing inside, hot as magma inside
and the course of the air trying to cool you off
accompanied by the song of the swing chains
knowing that it must be after midnight and everyone
living around the park can hear the rhythm of your joy
but they can’t see you naked and perfect, flying

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a poet from Seattle Washington USA. His poetry has appeared in print in publications such as Bellowing Ark, Point Nopoint, and most recently in Contraposition magazine. When not writing poetry he is a Human Resources professional, a repentant glutton, and a novelist specializing in the weird-fiction genre.
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