Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, DENVER STREET, by WILLARD JOHNSON



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DENVER STREET, by            
First Line: A garish flare of magazines
Last Line: And navels before breakfast!
Subject(s): Gays & Lesbians; Oranges; Youth; Homoeroticism; Lesbians; Gay Women; Gay Men


A garish flare of magazines
Intrudes inappropriately
Outside a stall.
Afternoon colors, I reflect,
Paper and ink night smells --
And yet a pink edition
Of an early morning paper
Blends aromatically with coffee. . . .

And these oranges,
Flamboyantly gay --
Oh, of course, oranges!
They should never be seen
(In their skins at least)
Except at breakfast
Or among the vegetables
Offered on sidewalks
To morning marketers.
And there they are,
Fragrant as spices
With what glazed cheeks!
And with an arrogant sign
Above them; a perky sign:
Sweet Navels.

What! Navels!
And before I have had my toast?
My God, literature and navels
Offered me on a public street
Before the sun
Has mounted the matutinal
Smoke-mist. . . .

Sweet navels. Ah!
I think of a line from a poem.
How does it go?
". . . The morning has offered me its youth
In the petals of its hands . . ."
And somewhere I have read:
"Thy navel is like a round goblet
Which wanteth not liquor:
Thy belly is like . . ."

Like an orange, perhaps.
But really, literature
And navels before breakfast!





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