Issue > Poetry
Kirk Nesset

Kirk Nesset

Kirk Nesset is author of Paradise Road and Mr. Agreeable (fiction), as well as Saint X (poetry), Alphabet of the World (translations), and The Stories of Raymond Carver (nonfiction). His stories, poems, translations and essays have appeared in The Paris Review, Southern Review, Kenyon Review, Gettysburg Review, American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner and elsewhere. He teaches at Allegheny College, and is writer in residence at Black Forest Writing Seminars (Freiburg, Germany).

Café Perpendicular

After the rain routed us,
after crouching in stoops
with bums and trisexuals—
high on air and cascades,
mangling English and
French— we found the café
and pots of wine and
the time to kiss came
and we did and you hid
with your lips and wet
maps; and the wine tipped
in its white plastic cup,
and the man on the bike
we saw climbing the cloud-
shrouded mountain sails
head over wheels, unbrok-
en, unbruised; and whatever
you dabbed on my cheeks
in broad lines remains;
and in the rain's pulse
something still sings.

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