Douglas Currier

Heavy petting

I don’t remember the girls I groped,
fondled, put my hands on, my fingers in,
lips to, nor what tacit agreements I broke.

Intimacy has expectations. Yielding
of the private world of the body – to sight,
to touch — must count for something.

Why do I not remember their names,
their faces blurring into others.
So much drunken license, exploration, fear.

I never learned to speak woman, am only
familiar with a few words for regret
in that tongue. Just give me a name,

and I will repent the adolescent illusion of caring,
of friendship never truly felt or felt only on
the softest skin, the moist, new lips of desire.


                    Last night was different.
                    Someone fucked me awake; when I opened my eyes
                    it was over, all the need gone
                    by which I knew my life.
                        “The Dream of Mourning“ Louise Gluck

I knew he wouldn’t leave his wife.
They never do, but they are so easily
plucked – remorseful, sweet in their want.

Nine weeks – I enjoyed his idea of gift,
tokens to enter the parts he enjoyed.
I never asked him the color of my eyes.

I enjoyed stealing time from her I didn’t know
– even the mundane, mid-morning
conversations after fucking, over breakfast.

For him, I’m sure I was vacation, amusement
park ride, an exploration – uncharted flesh,
a jungle to penetrate, plant his flag.

Mercifully, they never do.


Of course, I let him, too old
for the backseat fumbling
of high school boys. I had
my own room, and it was before
I knew I would prefer women,
virginity becoming an embarrassment,
and he was handsome, and kind,
and patient, and older. Did I mention
married? He was married.
I mentioned the word virgin,
and from his look I knew he’d wait
as long as it took to have me first.

Eventually, he filled the gap between
my legs, between adolescence
and adult, between the long
afternoons of a year – twice, three
times a week. He stayed over once,
we did it twice. He left with his family.
That was the price of worldly
– fair trade.


Douglas K Currier holds an MFA in Poetry from the University of Pittsburgh and writes poetry in English and Spanish. He has published in several journals: Main Street Rag, Comstock Review, Stone, and others.

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The Erozine