Robert Beveridge

Just Above Silence

The days pass like camels
in the miles between oases. Tables
stretch the length of small countries.
The idea of interaction with your Crock-Pot(R)
invites endless neurosis, tension
of venison, potatoes, beer.

Allow the entry of salt, bend
over the pew and never see
the face of the person whose
tongue attends you; confession,
they say, is good for the soul,
but there is no question release
is good for the body. Your
stew awaits, fragrant, delicious.

Just Below Silent

Like a snake in water, a toad
in magma. Invisibility is key
in public masturbation. The fun
of thigh against knee, placement
of pocket, hand, erection. One
fades behind I-beams, eyes
construction workers, secretaries,
off to lunch. Then the point
beyond which cessation is unthinkable,
and all there is is hope—unseen
until you vanish into the crowd,
nothing in your wake but unexplainable
puddles, ineffable mess.

Public Decency

We were invited into the back
bedroom to make love, instead
held one another. Spoke of things
we had seen, the taste of iron
rose petals against the tongue,
feel of frills against the crotch
of too-tight jeans. Your lungs
deepened into that light doze
before sleep. I got up to write
and have a cigarette; you went
to bed with your boyfriend.
He, too, you said, remained
unfinished, a redheaded Van Gogh
with too much desire but knees
too weak to handle the floorboards.
You sipped another black cherry
cider and remembered your husband’s
fingers working between your legs,
whimpered ecstasy breathed in by
the rest of the room, appreciative
yet somehow unwilling to take
your perfect pink nipples between
their lips, play with the pitch
and tone of your cries.


Robert Beveridge (he/him) makes noise ( and writes poetry in Akron, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in Throats to the Sky, FEED, and Sublunary Review, among others.

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