Gnossienne #1 by Scott Chalupa


It’s the shape of your arm, the ring
On your left ring finger, muted
Downturned gaze all together reach
For a spine scripted in those now —
Illegible letters, and I
Could have lived lifetimes lingering
Below your graceful lobes the notched
Bridge of your nose, would have nestled
The small of your back — its curve still
Visible in the loose slung suit
You wore those long decades ago.
This library then was haven
For boys like us and it was there
We knew one another Thursdays
And odd Mondays, sifting the shelves,
Each of us hearing privately
Our favorite of Satie’s six sad
Dances — the glances through, the touch
Never ventured though often thought.
This photograph on which I write
Worlds I still wish had dwelt in you.


Scott Chalupa haunts a marginal attic in Columbia, SC, where he pursues an MFA at the University of South Carolina. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in South Atlantic Review, [tap], Fall Lines, Oxford Comma Review, HIV Here & Now, and other venues. He has led workshops for the Alzheimer’s Association, Houston Poetry Fest, and Houston Public Libraries’ SpeakOUT! Series for LGBT writers.