Tryst. Poem by Despy Boutris


The secret to sin is to do it
in secret. We learned secrecy young—
two girls taught to swallow our hunger—
so we meet up at nightfall
once the last lights have gone out. We walk
down the roads, cursing this town
full of coal-miners and farmers and churches,
cursing the way we’ll likely never leave.
The air is petrichor-stained, and we’re led
only by the humming streetlights
and starlit sky. We find each other
at our meeting place, the lake south of me,
north of you, me scrambling over the wet rocks
toward the grove where you’ve lain down
the knit blanket. And as soon as we catch
each other’s eyes, we’re each saying Here
is my shirt, here is my hair, my hands,
my mouth, take it, take me, right
now. Your eyes glow like lightning bugs,
jaw sharp as my pocket knife. As we strip
our breaths turn to fog, the cool drizzle falling
onto your curls and half-shut eyelids.
Your thighs shear mine—
the seawater taste of skin, the scrape of teeth
against lip, fingertips meandering down spines,
tracing mandibles. Breaths a windstorm—
some desire to rub ourselves together
till we make some sort of fire. As your mouth
latches onto skin hardly anyone has seen,
rosy even in this low light, we gasp
like people drowning, and I try to think
of a word for the way I want you—wildly,
maybe. Like a monsoon. But what’s at first erotic
erodes: love collapsing like the hills
that gave way after so much rain and mud
last winter. And so much want
is sinful—I know—so we’re wary
of the fires and floods, lying together
only in darkness, water spattering our faces,
swallowing what we can of each other.

(first published in Prairie Schooner)

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Despy Boutris is published or forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Copper Nickel, Colorado Review, The Adroit Journal, Prairie Schooner, Palette Poetry, Third Coast, Raleigh Review, Diode, The Indianapolis Review, and elsewhere. Currently, she teaches at the University of Houston and serves as Assistant Poetry Editor for Gulf Coast.

Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times ; You may visit Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

The Tilting. An Audio Textual Poem by Robin Ouzman Hislop

Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times ; his publications include

All the Babble of the Souk , Cartoon Molecules and Next Arrivals, collected poems, and the recently published Moon Selected Audio Textual Poems, as well as translation of Guadalupe Grande´s La llave de niebla, as Key of Mist and the recently published Tesserae , a translation of Carmen Crespo´s Teselas.

You may visit Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Universal Aspirations. A Poem by Antonio Martínez Arboleda

Humans redesigning
through artificial intelligence
the DNA of all viruses
        with colours and flavours to choose

                            Humans establishing 
                            a licencing system
                            and opening times
                                       for bacteria to reproduce

                                                                       Humans playing billiard
                                                                       with planets and stars
                                                                                  to gain the best 
                                                                                  rotation angles
                                                                                  the optimal distance
                                                                                       for their home world
                                                                                       and their colonies

                                                                       and building 
                                                                       atomic shields
                                                                                  to keep them safe
                                                                                  from radiations

Humans feeding 
gluttonous black holes
           with sheep
           and giant cakes 
           and belching-inducing
           anti-acid agent 

                                             They may as well
                                               paint them white

                                          Humans being universal 

Antonio Martínez Arboleda:
Antonio (Tony Martin-Woods) started to write poetry for the public in 2012, at the age of 43, driven by his political indignation. That same year he also set in motion Poesía Indignada, an online publication of political poetry. He runs the poetry evening Transforming with Poetry at Inkwell, in Leeds, and collaborates with 100 Thousands Poets for Change Tony is also known in the UK for his work as an academic and educator under his real-life name, Antonio Martínez Arboleda at the University of Leeds. His project of digitisation of poetry, Ártemis, compiles more than 100 high quality videos of Spanish poets and other Open Educational Resources. .

He is the delegate in the UK of Crátera Revista de Crítica y Poesía Contemporánea , where he also publishes his work as translator from English into Spanish. He published his first volume of poetry in Spanish, Los viajes de Diosa (The Travels of Goddess), in 2015, as a response to the Great Recession, particularly in Spain. His second book, Goddess Summons the Nation PaperbackGoddess Summons the Nation Kindle Edition , is a critique of the ideas of nation and capitalism, mainly in the British Brexit context. It incorporates voices of culprits, victims and heroes with mordacity and rhythm. It consists of 21 poems, 18 of which are originally written in English, available in print and kindle in Amazon and other platforms. Editor’s note: further information bio & academic activities can be found at this link:






Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times ; You may visit Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)