Hot and Cold

If I meet you, I must meet you
on the icy tundra
of the mind. You’re simply not accustomed
to the tropical heart, the warm terrain
of skin.

The heart is where the ice cube melts
and cuts the rum, and you laugh and laugh
with raw, flirtatious rogues.

The heart is where they glow and sweat
in the sweltering shade
of the bistro’s colorful canopy. And far below
the harbor simmers and winks.

If I meet you, I must meet you
in Siberia. You simply haven’t lived
among the tan.


Death Watch

Another tricky marriage dead!

We’ll bury it tonight
before the news.

Till then, I’ll keep an eye
on it
as if a body lay
on a sheet
where we once fucked. It seems asleep
the way
you’d sleep
till noon. Unlike you, though,
it won’t wake up. It won’t get up

Oh, yes, I’ll keep an eye
on it, and, like a friend, I’ll say some words,
and then a ghost will fade
from a bed
as empty
as our vows.


Ken Anderson was a finalist in the 2021 Saints and Sinners poetry contest. New Poetry from the Festival (an anthology of the 2021/2022 winners and finalists) includes four of his poems. His poetry books are The Intense Lover and Permanent Gardens. Publications include Angel Rust, Gay and Lesbian Review, The Heart of Pride (Quillkeepers Press), Mollyhouse, Otherworlds, Queerlings, RFD, Screen Door, Vagabonds, Wicked Gay Ways, Wussy Mag, Café Review, Coffin Bell, Dash, Hole in the Head Review, The Journal, London Grip, Lullwater Review, Oddball Magazine, Orbis, Penumbra, Sangam Literary Magazine, Sein und Werden, Toho Journal, and Willawa Journal.