by Nick McRae

Some April days open
like movies, the sun fading in,
a dew of opening credits sliding by
(almost unnoticed in the best ones).

The characters appear in trains
and taxis, the protagonist perhaps
the owner of the local bistro,
or sometimes the young girl,

shoulders laden with layers of scarves,
still slightly drunk with disappointment,
and we are dropped into the medias res
of their mornings, giving the script

that little extra something when we
wave or cough or shoulder brusquely by.
And then the rain comes like the worst
kind of sex-scene (uncomfortable,

maybe you are watching with elderly relatives,
unwitting), where the lovers attack
each other with a kind of passion
unknown to these situations:

quick, hard, strangely tepid, the skin
so honest and backlit that you want to soak
yourself in it, but will not today, the puddles
drying already beneath the midday sun.

Nick McRae’s poems have appeared in Copper Nickel, DIAGRAM, Linebreak, Passages North, Poet Lore, and elsewhere. He is a former Fulbrighter and Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets fellow. He is currently a University Fellow in Creative Writing at The Ohio State University.

Editor’s note: “Sex” is reprinted here. It first appeared in Sakura Review (2009).

Back to Issue Eleven: Spring 2011