Brief Holiday by Gordon Taylor

🏆 Pushcart Nominated

On the king-sized hotel bed, I know I don’t realize

my privilege. I can turn off television news, suppress politics

and brain chemistry. I can eat dessert first or twice, breathe

your coconut-sweetened breath, stare like a magnifying glass

as you unbutton your shirt, fuchsia sky burning

in my cheeks, touch the blueprint of your fingertips, take time

to admire, like an early Flemish artist obsessed with small

details in a convex mirror, the henna stain of your back’s birth mark,

walk of light across a torso. There is an explosion

of butterflies when I open the bedside drawer. You hold

my waist and dropped petals return to lilies. Rows

of abandoned buildings in The Tenderloin turn into guitar

strings. Your forearms flex. Stars emerge from black holes.

Without argument, plastic biodegrades, sheening the Pacific.

All the lights are on. For now, electricity is free.


Gordon Taylor (he/him) is a queer poet who walks an ever-swaying wire of technology, health care and poetry. His poems have appeared in Tickle Ace (now Defunct), Prairie Fire, Plenitude, The Bridport Arts Prize Anthology and is forthcoming in Months to Years.


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