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.