A woman wanted to make love,
to fashion it, with me as a partner,
but I pled bad-elbow, wars
in a dozen countries, and nostalgia.  
Please, she said, here, and we rearranged
the potential workspace to accommodate
the needs of our labor.  She lifted me
into her and it was everything
librarians guard their children’s sections against.  
There were various elbows,
wars in some dozen places,
and nostalgia like a blunt fog that persists,
mulishly, through even the coarsest simmer
of daylight.  Picnic tables, she whispered,
long lonely drives, Sunday brunch.  
I said you loved horses in your girlhood,
didn’t you.  But not any longer.  
We spoke nicknames each set of parents
had given us in secret, and beneath us
the bedsheets contorted like a lover’s knuckles,
crazed in their fingers, as they glide,
asleep beside you, into a torn dream.

Duncan D. Campbell is a graduate of the MFA program in writing at the University of New Hampshire. His poems have appeared in burntdistrict, Connotation Press, El Aleph Magazine, Ghost Ocean, and Transom, and are forthcoming in the Crab Creek Review and West Branch. His poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net Anthology, and his first Chapbook, "Farmstead, Fire, Field", is forthcoming from ELJ Publications.