The trick is
to hold out your hand
and convince
a cluster
of carbon-dioxide
to dance
upon your palm
which will
produce a white light
while you stand
perfectly still—
and it will last
as long as you
keep the molecules

So do this trick
in the nude
and exhale
deep breaths
onto your palm
as if you blow
a kiss
across the room.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Jack Palance

You remind me
I was sixteen once.
Tall enough I was mistaken for a man.
Not old enough to grow a mustache shadow.

Everyday I ventured out into the world.
The world barely noticed me.
I climbed mountains.
I climbed stairs in my five story high school.

We read Steven Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage.
I took it as an instruction manual.
It taught me to accept my trepidations.
And that I would conquer my nerves with experience.

Being about war it taught little about Kindness.
It taught me little about geography as well.
Was it important to learn the location of Beijing?
I bet clocks tick there at the same speed as here.

My first date that ended with a kiss happened at eighteen.
So I cannot help you with dating at sixteen.
Your slender awkwardness has its own charm.
Breathing normally is important.

An old aftershave commercial taught me Confidence is Sexy.
Go from nervous to confident by experiencing dating.
I think that was Jack Palance in the commercial.
You were born the day he died.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney


What a good night.
Stars blurry through a frosted window.
Me with you under the blankets.
I hear you whisper.
How will we remain in love
without hard times binding us?

Habit. I whisper into your hair.
Plus, I love you beyond the end of time.

You squeeze me. Your face shifts
from my chest to my shoulder.
Your kiss presses upon my cheek.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney