First: James Penha – Poem

Holding On

I used to sweat waiting for him to deplane
And we’d make out in the back of the taxi
To the hotel where, once in the room: more
Than once In the bed we’d really make love
Sucking and fucking and holding on and on
Till dinner and for dessert we’d come again.

Thirty years later now, I wait for him to finish
With the doctor who touches him far more
Than I lately save in the lines of this poem.


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Back to Russell Whaley: Photograph                     Onward to Faith Paulsen: Poem

jp-batikA native New Yorker, James Penha lives in Indonesia. Nominated for Pushcart Prizes in fiction and poetry, his verse appears this year in Headcase: LGBTQ Writers & Artists on Mental Health and Wellness published by Oxford UP and Lovejets: queer male poets on 200 years of Walt Whitman from Squares and Rebels. His essay “It’s Been a Long Time Coming” was featured in The New York Times “Modern Love” column in April 2016. Penha edits The New Verse News, an online journal of current-events poetry.