The Wonder Years, the Lost Years
I miss the sudden unfurling of passion in youth,
the love like camera flash that instant blinds
and fixes heart to flesh, that sears poor reason
as if it had watched the sun itself. I miss
the breathless rush, the mindless clutch and fumble,
the kiss and kiss and kiss, the lips and lips and tongue
the leaders intrepid, explorers undaunted.
I miss the way that passion gets swept forward,
gets driven by pulsing dance or swirling drink or both—
inevitable as surf’s rush, as gravity’s pull,
as springtime bird song’s bright greeting of swelling dawn,
that irresponsible selfless selfish give and take.
And, mostly, I miss the waking guiltless, free,
and glad to have had, without the penalty
of intimacy, this intimate and carnal pleasure,
this self-effacing, exhausting, aerobic interlude
with one whose hands, whose ribs, whose hips,
whose landscape, hill and hollow, soft and hard
will longer last than any name or obligation,
the after without regret or recrimination,
when sex was just sex for both of us, just sex
and not a contract signed with penalty clause
and expectation of future fidelity,
of any future at all.
Too Much of a Good Thing
When you loved me
the nights were raucous
with your bucking, sweating need.
You had to prove it again and again.
Your ardor made the night sing,
made of rest a buried treasure
we never sought.
Your stamina made me
an impediment to peace.
Your hunger made me laugh
until dark half moons set
under my eyes
and I had to elope
Cecil Morris, a 2021 Pushcart prize nominee, has poems appearing or forthcoming in Evening Street Review, Hole in the Head Review, New Verse News, Rust + Moth, Sugar House Review, and other literary magazines. A retired high school English teacher, he now tries writing himself what he spent so many years teaching others to understand and (he hopes) to enjoy.