FNS : Votary by Robert Beveridge


Every Friday night we feature a short story, essay, personal narrative, poem,
spoken word, or short film for your enjoyment.

Tonight’s poem is from Robert Beveridge

That first night I saw you
white Oxford, dapple green
bra beneath. A silence born
of alcohol and want. Riot
of copper hair, the cast
of your mouth, half-quirk
half-smile, glasses that adorned
cornflower eyes and the minuscule
freckle spray. Cheeks’ smooth
descent to neck, so sensitive
to a breath, a brush of lips.
You shiver delicious as I pass.
Neckline plunges down, and down,
beyond the tan line to the aureole,
peek of nipple saucy in its boldness.

The next morning I begged you
with a “wow”, single appreciative
syllable not intended as seductive
but successful nonetheless. Quotidian
dates, groceries, K-Mart,
your hand in mine squeezed pain
after a biopsy. No flesh was ever
so benign. Polaroids, in those years
before “selfie” entered the lexicon,
breasts, belly that begged
a touch, a kiss, worshipful
descent of tongue. I could not but
love you, construct an altar
of clothing, freckles, old photos.
I have worshipped there daily since.

Robert Beveridge makes noise (xterminal.bandcamp.com) and writes poetry just outside Cleveland, Ohio. Recent/upcoming appearances include Chiron Review, Guide to Kulchur, and Third Wednesday, among others.

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