Four Poems – John Barrios

The Lovers - Yves Tanguy 1929

The Lovers – Yves Tanguy 1929


ring the doorbell.
iron will power
down the center of your highways
come in uniform.
hand on the knob.
force the door.
lights off.
you’ll climb. you’ll want.
unsure of new things.
holding your breath.
the whole neighborhood on standby.
likely but unprovable.
amassed yet divorcing.
see under: wounds to heal.
see under: courage.
there is no voucher.
there is no funding.
ring the bell.


Little Room

then off we go…
the gloss of our tongues, a startled sunset,
a mysterious companion holds your hand,
Shall we begin?
as you are when you are inside her eyes,
bouquets on the sailboat in your veins,
various virtues of rope, mast upheld,
legs cross at the foot of the bed,
fingertips tailgating thighs, an ocean
of density in the throat as she moves,
limbs wheel positioning flight
-you start -you stop -you start
It must be tenderness tumbled
together, there, only now contemplate histories
madly dodging smiles across lung’s fading light
gasping – gasping!
opening – softening!


She Undressed

He needed to appear
independent. She put words together
but kept them from slipping out.
He stayed in focus. She pressed
feelings under rapture. He
kept small compartments
of discretion. She wailed
when she was alone. He smiled
a serenity he could never replicate
without her. She handled everything
with fingertips and breath.
He bled a volcano mood.
She sighed once. He lowered
himself. She stood over him.
He placed a palm. She felt
a palm. He sent a breath.
She felt a slight warmth
of air. He went.
She stayed.
She stayed.
She stayed.


I’ll Tell You When To Stop

Seaside sickness
gulping along a dark narrow path
trees bathing in the evening rain we giggle
our way into the root of it
burrowing safety nets and expectations
tethering across a dip in the park
cataloging the blood drunk
we slip n’ slide! we al fresco!
arrows have gone soft lulling into
a knifed cock pit dream
pulling hard on the throttle
lifting passengers and crew
to dense alabaster heights
all the while
singing that song she mumbled in her sleep
gliding out the night’s trampoline
glittery obsessive
grittier quick
listening to the neighbors sad short sex
spilling death from a thimble of love
throat fisted



About John W Barrios

John W Barrios is a writer, editor, sometime essayist, and full-time single father living in Portland OR. His poetry collection Here Comes The New Joy was published by University of Hell Press. View all posts by John W Barrios

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