John Grey

Behind the Mask Love is more than justthe romance, the togetherness.It's hikes up mountains,sweat and scuffed kneesand, of course, near falls.It's trips to museums,where artists break the body apartor clean it up to the pointwhere it can only beMadonna and child.There's days trampingthrough crumpled car corpses,stepping around the many ratsto get to the one hub-cap.It's bringing you to the castlesof uncles with bad body odor,wretched cooking aunts,more successful cousins andwrinkled, forgetful grandparents,You have to love smells,cold thin soup, that othersbring home bigger paychecks,and kissing the wrinkled cheeks of strangers.I can talk lovebut it's dragging or coaxing you up closeto its inevitable baggage that really counts.Observe the man cleaning the toilet bowl,or picking the sore on his chinor kicking the dog out of the way.Muck and pus and anger -let your affection have at those monsters.Let's not forget chicken bones, molesand cracked songs fromthe steamy pit of the shower.Love what sickens.Love what you despise.And love me.Love them with all your hearts,the pink one with the arrowand the sloppy pumping red thing.
A Morning Kiss Out of the instability of light,amid the ceaseless,comes the certainty. Out of chaos,the belle of morning rises,begins to appearin truthwhere for so longshe blindly accumulated in my dreams. Morning, by eons distilled,eternal, and for me,destiny willing to exist,from sheets extending, growing,a flow of moments filteringon pale cheeks, brown eyes. From the source of brightness.I receive magnificence confirmationof a love assured,suspended in the heartwhere so much is identified ~the absolute of joy,the gentle beatto the extraordinary. The obvious: morning.But present, eternitythrough the room diffused,to be nothing more,than a lip vibrating,a brief, substantial kiss,as the essential silencebathes in dawning rays. Pickup Line A hand strokingits own shadowcommunicates to me,the extended bodyimplacable being,broken loose from all othersand with the force of a conqueror -a certain caprice remakes paradiseso I am legend,I am the here and nowwith nothing but breath,I make a worldon pillow surface,under sheets -in truth, in triumph,fused irrevocably to need -no, not a dream - actual creation -casting off time,forging unique destinies -oh yes,the pride invents me,resonance resolvesinto this form you see before you -I'm unambiguousso capitulate -the profound has entered the room -my being asserts its stature -this universal godwhich I am once morebestrides the will to consummatewith you, my love,the last unyielding.So can I buy you a drinkor not? John Grey is an Australian born poet. Recently published in Paterson Literary Review, Southern California Review and Natural Bridge with work upcoming in the Kerf, Leading Edge and Louisiana Literature.