Alan King


The Lovers
after a painting by Jacob Lawrence

a boy embraces his girlfriend
in a movie theatre parking lot
before they're tonguing their initials
in each other's mouths

and on a Saturday evening
like this one—your body glowed
hot and bright after holding
and kissing a girl for the first time
under a street light

that summer the heat wave hit
you were in high school, and
the cool spray of hydrants couldn't
extinguish your friends burning
for that sweet connection

satisfaction only through the
entanglement of limbs and thighs,
what Rashad discovered in Nicole's
bedroom while her folks were away

or what "Pretty Boy" Frank was
after—slipping out the back while
Natalie's jealous boyfriend yells
to her window from the front yard



A Cave Canem fellow and Vona Alum, Alan King's fiction and poems have appeared in the Arabesques Review, Warpland, The Amistad, and Fingernails Across the Chalkboard: Poetry and Prose on HIV/AIDS, among others. His work was also part of Anacostia Exposed, a collaborative exhibit with Irish photographer Mervyn Smyth that showcased the life and energy of Anacostia.


Published in Volume 10, Number 1, Winter 2009.


Read more by this author:
Alan King on Charles Simic: US Poets Laureate Issue

Alan King on Karibu Books: Literary Organizations Issue