Robert Whitehead


The barn they enter
to rest after
bicycling. The shabby plot

we forgive
when the boys move expectantly
toward each other,

when they
take off their clothes
and touch

like they know
a shorthand for love,
of course they do.

When they go
to speak,
when he should

moan like a barn
in the wind,
when he should say yes

and god—
instead what sounds like
the ocean falling down

a flight of stairs.
What sounds like
a train in the ocean, speeding.

Either the soundtrack is damaged
or the boys are,
the static prospering

perhaps from their difficult hearts
and filling the space.
A wave cresting.

A deluge
and what a deluge drowns out.
Watch—the boys

are at once furious in their self-regard
and blessing each other.
To them it sounds the same.