he can’t read my writing


what do you mean

you write pottery?


okay so I do

make clay from mud

and I spin it

and fondle it into shape

and then bake it

so it all holds together

but people read it

they don’t drink out of it


a taste in the mouth?

not intentionally

but not unwarranted either





He waited – dogs can do that –

patiently waited for me to weary of women

who unclasp their bras,

slip their skirts down over their knees,

who won’t keep their nakedness to themselves

but slap it all over my body.


He was still there when sweat hardened on skin,

moans reverted to sighs which mutated into yawns,

exhaustion owned up to indifference

and sheet and pillow took the human form,

singly, absolute.


He watched her leave as he had others before her,

every loose item of clothing gathered up

and reunited with her body.

He might have even waited

for the sound of her car

starting up in the driveway

though I wouldn’t swear to that.


No passion, no desire, was required

for him to come to me.

I spoke his name and he knew it.

Some nights, that was a first for me.





Won’t bright rods of seaweed

stanch and shutter our footsteps –


must we drown first?


in the name of the embodied,

the sea assumes to leave us circulating,

like shared lungs, emerging as beloved,

gathering at the sun’s breast

on a surface wider than noon –

such bright insinuations our years have taught –


two jutting islands

where life leads us involuntary –

turquoise latitude, level with each other’s eyes


In this unexpected life,

exclaim…receive –

the strongest rock, the softest green.


John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, Rockhurst Review and Spindrift with work upcoming in South Carolina Review, Gargoyle, Sanskrit and Louisiana Literature.