"Solstice" by Leah Mueller
You returned from a year-long trip to Asia
and slept for twenty-four hours,
until the jangling of your phone awakened you.
I apologized, but you invited me
to come over immediately
and disturb you some more.
I stood in the middle of your living room
on the longest night of the year,
surrounded by singing bowls and heavy tapestries
of androgynous gods and goddesses,
their bodies arranged in improbable positions.
Later, we reclined on the back porch of a biker bar
in the rapidly waning Seattle heat
and warmed ourselves with pints of beer.
When we kissed, a jealous biker asked whether
we'd had orgasms yet. Since we hadn't,
we returned to your place, and gave it
our best shot. You had an orgasm, but I didn't.
I chalked it up to inexperience,
told myself it didn't matter. We fell asleep
on your sticky bed, entwined like Shiva's arms.
In the morning, we ate pancakes
and wandered into the Asian museum.
You made the elderly guard laugh
when you told a story about men in Thailand
who pulled cars with their penises.
We fell in love for a few weeks,
until the rains moved in again.
Now I see you on Facebook:
your thirty-year old images
of mountain-climbing excursions,
and more recent snapshots of
your pinch-faced Scorpio wife,
straining to look happy for the camera.
You sent a black and white photo of me reclining
on my back, arms splayed above my head
in a posture of joyful surrender. Funny how
the body flows easily when we're young,
but now even smiling takes so much effort.
"Hood Love" by Leah Mueller
isn't the way
in the movies.
It's not the alchemy
against all obstacles,
the shrieking couple
on the street
in front of their house
on a rainy
accuses his lover
go back inside
and have make-up sex
television set blasts
in the background.
During the afterglow,
up the street
to the mini-mart
It might not
be love at all,
but it's close enough
to the real thing
to keep the rent paid,
at least for