I gave my body and what you gave me
Was coffee and burnt toast in the morning,
Love poems, prayers that cried, Me, Me, Me.
What a wild night, you couldn’t believe
Your moonlit luck, thunder-relieved longing—
I gave what you could never give to me.
You cut panes of stained glass so I could see
Inside your church, but the crowds were yawning;
Your love poems only babbled, Me, Me, Me.
Wow, man. Don’t you get it? I set you free
From thirst, my sweat a fine red wine pouring
From my body. What did you give me?
A fumbling one-night stand, a lame story
Of ecstasy you’ll waste life remembering
In pathetic prayers, bad poems about me.
And now this purling verse, about to be
Dust, deleted, uneaten. Look darling,
I gave my body burning, all you gave
Were poems, prayers: less than air to me.
Gregory Emilio’s poetry and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Best
New Poets, Crab Orchard Review, F(r)iction, Midwestern Gothic, Nashville
Review, Permafrost, Spoon River Poetry Review, The Poet’s Billow, The
Southeast Review, and Valparaiso Poetry Review. He’s the Nonfiction Editor
at New South, and a PhD candidate in English at Georgia State University in