Sunday, October 13, 2013


I was priest to your confession,
though no screen to separate us,
only the restaurant table lain
with tortillas and glasses of rioja,
over which you bared your soul
and told me that I was the object of your desire,
the source of your salvation.

You were my inquisitor,
attempting to break down
the dispassionate screen
that protects me from emotions
and feelings kept bottled and wrapped,
or, as you said, repressed.

Inquisitor and confessor,
you took me to the precipice
where I stood agape,
only to pull back
into platonic embrace.

Published in Free State Review, Issue 2, Summer 2013


  1. Spicy -- as you mentioned in your comment on my recent post, setting is deeply important in a poem like this. Congrats on the publication!

  2. Thanks, Laura, though this actually isn't a poem that I had in mind when writing my comment on your post. The poem to which I was referring is "Thoughts While Sitting Along the Lower Potomac," which I haven't posted. The poem refers to characteristics of the landscape and life along the lower reaches of the Potomac (I was in the Northern Neck when I wrote it) in contrast to the DC area upriver. Geography is critical to the poem; without the specific setting, it loses most, if not all, context. The poem is also rooted in Taoist philosophy.