Sometimes when I lift the chalice
to a brother's tongue,
and tip the gleaming cup so just enough
wine flows in, the sweet red sea parting
two lip-lands like an Exodus in reverse,
my hand might accidentally brush
the other's cheek, our skins kissing briefly;
and the moment is so raw,
so vulnerable between us, anything rough
or unclean suddenly melts, passes away
as if we have no skin,
and we are naked and new all over again
and shame is a fruit left dangling on the vine.
The Southeast Review
Copyright © 2006 by The Southeast Review, Inc.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.