This poem is taken from Stand 226, 18(2) June - August 2020.

Richard Robbins Three Poems
Loving a Woman

Understand the young man does not know he wants to fall and fall and fall until he cannot recognize himself any longer. The air rushes up from under him, each building a blur, even as one face, then another, snap into focus at their windows. Gravity will have its way with him.

The young man does not know a lovely suicide comes first with its awkward quiet, every word a deserter, its one dull thud in the chest. Even if he knew the language, he might not use it.

For this reason, he can only talk with others about his face in her breasts, the nipples hardening, the size of his cock, the damage it could do. It’s a story told by firelight, the owls and coyotes singing across the dark surface of night. It’s a story that keeps the other beasts away. It puts the boy in him to sleep.

In this way, he will separate from his mother, even as he does not know he wants to fall back into her.
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