Poetry / December 2015 (Issue 30)

On Sonnet 20

by Reid Mitchell

"Fair youth," Will, you say, like a sniggering
schoolboy, cracking jokes and smoking ciggies.
"You've a woman's face, her bright eyes, and a
prick." Will, you can find most nights after ten
Fair Youth and Dark Lady rolled into one
affordable package at Lockhart and
Luard and bedroom guarded by a bearded Sikh.

Was your lust felt in your loins? If Fair Youth
invited or Dark Lady allowed, would
you skip the bed for permission to mope
fourteen measured lines? You hew not to true
minds or warm bodies as to an excuse
for a sigh, admiration, and a poem
—a coat of arms for the alderman's son.
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