New Poems
by Vince O'Connor




cage me

in a frame

stroking oil

onto parchment


transform me into

stopped time

a gentle whisper

in an empty room


in the hegemony of

your touch

immerse your fingers

in my heart.


then breach my parapets

with the onslaught of your eyes

the cinders in your fingers

the compulsion in your soul.




a black line





This is not a photograph

of you


just a random

face that came

with the frame who won’t

bruise me

while trying to love me.


The real photographs are hidden


a meager diet of grabbed moments

showing us surviving on

brief phone calls

and shadowy

bedtime encounters



will o' the wisps

that may as well have lived

on separate continents.


One day I’ll start a new story

a better story

and when I do

I’ll revisit these images

and they will heal more


they hurt.



a black line



To Thine Own Self Be True


I don’t fear


tangled, matted hair

   sweat-slicked skin

      disheveled bones


I don’t require


tummy-tucked abs

   white capped teeth

      a well-defined ass


I will always


embrace your reality

   expel your loneliness

      fill your emptiness


show you’re more


a benefit package



a black line

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