Three Poems

by Kevin Bertolero


Outdoors in Eastwood            & there’s all this 
shady breeze on the lawn by Blessed Sacrament.
Everything now feels like clarity to you     
/  remember smoking a bit from the back porch 
watching Planet Earth            then crying 
to several hundred walruses leaping from 
that cliff in the sub-Arctic            all that 
land haulout & melted sea ice      they had 
nowhere left to go.
            From the moment you arrived the air
was changed            /  handsome organism
who needs a bucket to scrub
all the Massachusetts from himself,
/  that queer accent
—how driving sometimes, you see the sun
come up over tips of pines            & it feels 
surreal, reminds you of that November you 
found yourself waking up 
in someone else’s bed,                  standing 
to look over the land            /  admiring 
that new foreign kind of snow.

Ogunquit Painting Poem

So many changes upon this fresh arrival
—check out all those artists painting summer
on the outcropping      or that bluff 
which sees the offing—as if a new school 
had formed in some general fashion      & what is
this if not just another early-in-the-day poem
which I’ll try not to treat like some autobiography
/  a document            or some flecks of dry skin.
      On the gay beach      there are men
who look like they want to be called daddy 
& there are those who do the calling      /  now 
back to Dover in the evening where the sun
sets kind of funny            in a way that
just tells you what it is      not what it’s like.

Riverside In West Forks

Two feet in the Kennebec 
      & slipping on little granite stones
for hours            [smooth geology]
            strawberry moon keeps
running water light enough 
      to see those skipped flatheads
against some shadowed 
            white mountain ridge 
& more friends stumble down 
the steep path to join us 
	[now twelve feet in the water]
& when the wind picks up
		we huddle
closer            modulated breathing.
If someone were to find us now
there’d be no sound.

Kevin Bertolero is the founding editor of Ghost City Press and is the associate director of the Kettle Pond Writers’ Conference. He holds degrees in literature from Potsdam College and the University of New Hampshire, as well as an MFA from New England College. Kevin is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently Love Poems (Bottlecap Press, 2020), and a nonfiction book on gay cinema, Forever in Transition (Another New Calligraphy, 2021). Follow him on Twitter @KevinBertolero.

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