francine j. harris

afterwards the boys stand in the kitchen.

                    they all drink beer and adjust themselves.

                   they all sip swig and make jokes.

          inside they all adjust themselves and some stay naked. afterwards

                   they all stink salt. emit wet foot. they all

                   adjust themselves and move around like soft dirt planets. they all

                      adjust themselves in constant fidget.

                    after they all adjust burners on the stove, they all

                      amble relieved. the bluff glow of the after.

                   as they all move the pudge about. they all

                      after grapple. after bump. they all swill malt liquor. adjust

                   the knives. they all lick from bagged bottles. they all

                       inside jokes about swim. about bump and slip. they all

                      adjust the blinds to open. after they all say

                                 girl smile.



“afterwards the boys stand in the kitchen.” first appeared in Bat City Review, 2015, and is from play dead (Alice James Books, 2016).