“Wilbur and Stanley” by Christopher Stephen Soden

They ask if our cocks are identical
or if there’s something creepy
going on between us, when we
treat them to dinner, when
we’re stupid enough to believe
Plum Wine and Pad Thai might
be the path to genuine friendship.

They insult us without meaning to,
without guessing how ridiculous
they are. Yes, of course, I know
Stanley’s shoulder blades, better
than my own. Our pulses sing
the splendor of rhythm

in counterpoint, our sleeping
breath a nocturne of inspiration
and exhalation, drenching
our cells with gobs of oxygen.
When we dine sometimes we
feed each other. We whisper

and giggle together when sitting
through Ibsen or Strindberg. We piss
frothy streams in meadows. We row
to the center of an extravagant
blue lake, crooning Flower Duet
or The Pearl Fishers. We drown in

the barker’s schtick, summoning
the mob: God or Nature saw fit
to join Stanley and Wilbur through
this Valley of Grief and perhaps
into eternity. I will hold my companion
when another siren breaks his feverish

heart. I will bandage his spindly knee
and massage the dread from his spine.
Stanny, I am your fierce tiger, your man
in the moon. I know they are poised
to devour. They will never know
the most trivial detail about us. Let them
subsist on wet garbage. Let them starve.


Christopher Stephen Soden received his MFA in Poetry from Vermont College of Fine Arts in January of 2005. He teaches craft, theory, genre and literature. He writes poetry, plays, literary, film and theatre critique for sharpcritic.com and EdgeDallas. Christopher’s poetry collection, Closer, was released by Rebel Satori Press on June 14th, 2011. His work has appeared in Rattle, The Cortland Review, 1111, Typishly, F(r)iction, G & L Review, Chelsea Station, Glitterwolf, Collective Brightness, A Face to Meet the Faces, Resilience, Ganymede Poets: One, Gay City 2, The Café Review, The Texas Observer, Sentence, Borderlands, Off the Rocks, The James White Review, The New Writer, Velvet Mafia, Poetry Super Highway, Gertrude, Touch of Eros, Gents, Bad Boys and Barbarians, Windy City Times, ArLiJo, Best Texas Writing 2. You can contact him at christophersoden@sbcglobal.net