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Alan Spears

About Poet
Alan Spears is a lifelong resident of Washington, DC. He has been previously published in Lit Wit, the Frantic Egg, the Fledgling Rag, the Potomac Review, and Gargoyle, and has had poetry featured on Innisfree and the Beltway Poetry Series websites. In 1993, Alan edited Fast Talk, Full: An Anthology of African American Poetry (Gut Punch Press). Shout outs, slings & arrows to

my upstairs neighbor has a new boyfriend

they might not be in love
but they sure "like" each other.
especially 'round midnight
when the telltale sounds of creaking bed springs
enlist me as a third party validator
of their amorous intent.

he performs well enough I suppose,
though I find it difficult to follow his rhythm, which is fractious.

he comes loudly.
I never hear much from her.
then, afterwards, the shuffle of bare feet across the floor,
some water runs in the bathroom,
the toilet flushes.
show's over·

sometimes, the morning after,
I see them together at the bus stop - twenty-somethings.
she stands in close
gazing upward
not wanting to miss a detail of his face.
he looks handsome, confident, and completely overwhelmed by her affection.

I want to tell him to hold that woman.
write her a love note.
send her flowers on a Tuesday - just because·
but I walk on by.
they smile, I wave, and that's that.

they say love is wasted on the young·
and maybe it's true.
but tonight,
as the twenty-somethings are once again grinding the bed springs
into oblivion,
I sit here in the darkness
with a pillow that won't cushion the loneliness,
and a poem that can't explain
the random order of happy endings,
or why some fuck
while others fret these nights away.


saw you first

the key
is to stand so still
She moves right past you without noticing,
down Mass Avenue,
over the horizon,
to disappear in a glory of sunsets
and shop windows·

after darkness comes,
to move off quickly in the opposite direction staying low,
so low, in fact,
that she will never notice
or let you down again.


what passes for intimacy these days

there's an angel
the next treadmill over from me.
when the fan oscillates in the right direction
the scent of her bodywash
cuts through the late evening gym funk
like a clarion call.
and for just a moment I lose my pace.

I run sprints,
while she works the hills program.
we hit a mutual rhythm, in stride together.
the two of us in steady cadence,
working up a good sweat to the constant whirring of the machines.

I finish first.
step off,
dry myself with a small white towel.
and as I wipe down the digital display
and handle bars with disinfectant,
I catch her eye.

straining into the last of her workout,
positively aglow w/ perspiration,
she winks and smiles
like she wants me to know
it was good for her too.


Alan Spears
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