Twelve Naked Men

Pris Campbell

sit on a jetty watching 
the sea wipe out yesterday's footprints, 
talk about days when they made women's hearts 
beat faster, their loins damper, days

when they threw off their clothes,
preparing for their calendar tribute,
in a deserted graveyard at dawn, 
on a limb over the Charles River,

in a commune with friends in and out, 
chatting, in the woods, on stairways, 
in a church, once in the apartment 
of the photographer, an old lover.

These twelve naked men, aging now, 
hair thinning, bellies thickening, 
wave at the dolphins, feed bread crusts 
to swooping seagulls. They smile at the days

when women kissed their photos 
before lying back on the beds of lost time, 
arms spread, waiting only for them 
to walk off of the wall and love them.