pedal down east kentucky street
of close-cropped shotgun houses like
there’s not a bathroom full of steam waiting
smell of wet burlap
melting into indian sandalwood,
lights all out.
this is germantown, this is paristown,
this is pumpkin mocha candle
flirting with moisture in air;
and like wallpaper peeling slowly
away from plaster
a body unveiling itself behind
cactus shower curtain.
i am saddle-sore riding passed logan street
toward brent with my pullover pulled
off and spring on my skin-tight
blue tee and wind twirling backpack tendrils,
a rush of breath fluttering lungs.
blooming rises in kentucky street’s canopy as march
is month when magnolias blossom
into comfort of identity contextualized
by rite of season: to flower;
i cannot imagine being comfortable contextualized;
to exist in unison of flowering
what i want is to
and find a living, breathing, redolent, showering
human in bathroom with steam
and candle and cheap linoleum tiles
all torn up.
what i’ll do is park my orange specialized bicycle
shed bike locks and jeans,
meet human naked there in dark, showering, intimate,
like i remember a scottish city
with a little sailor-strength gin
or a cidergeist;
pair of hands on my ass
i’m glad you’re home.
like a cyclist’s wheel
goes round and round
when you pedal, breathe,
but unlike a cyclist’s wheel
it is not factual, not made
when i arrive home panting,
sweating night on my back
the floorboards all have each other.
in the bathroom
i light candle and
hang my pink underwear alone
on hook between hand towel and toothbrush.
shower water leaves kisses
upon my spine.
Justin Allard is a graduate of Centre College and currently lives in Louisville, KY. Their work has appeared in Entropy Magazine, Luna Luna Magazine, Perigee Journal, and Lemon Star Magazine.