Young bearded man sitting on slanted rock jutting into the sea
A previous version of this poem was published in the Southern Poetry Review, v19n2, Autumn…

Even as you are making up something
To tell her (to make it right),
Part of you is itching to get lost —

Find your island,
A rock on the cliff above the beach
Cut off from the lights of cars

And the starry eyes of couples
Passing as single shadows…

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Two-lane asphalt road curves gently bordered by trees in early spring

Grateful for the errand that’s
put me on this rolling back road,
I’m about convinced to declare it Spring.
Through glass, the bright sun’s warm.
The wooded hills shimmer: gauzy light green.

A good ways off, I zero-in on an old man
backing out the door of a run-down farm house.
I…

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Original version published in Marilyn: A Magazine of New Poetry, vol. II, Spring 1976

Colorful clouds around a dreaming person’s face

I’ve mounted my bicycle and pedaled into the street
when I realize I’m the emperor without clothes.

Panicked, I begin to pee on my leg.
But after all, it’s raining. I’m dreaming.
No sweat.

Riding along…

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Red rose in glass vase viewed from above against slate background

Days past peak bloom,
the rose I brought home
has begun to disappear.
Three shriveling petals
cling to the sepal,
their career of slow
curling outward nearly
done. Soon enough,
air stirred by a shut door
will bring them all down.
Still, we leave this rose
to center the room,
marveling at how it
fountains from each now
into the next, ever-changing
and…

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David Dayton

David Dayton

See https://www.pw.org/directory/writers/david_dayton Here, you’ll find draft chapters of a memoir and poems I’ll select from to publish a book later this year.