Two Poems

Stephen J. Golds

About the Author

Stephen J. Golds was born in London, U.K., but has lived in Japan for most of his adult life. He enjoys spending time with his daughters, reading books, traveling, boxing, and listening to old Soul LPs. His novel Say Goodbye When I'm Gone will be released by Red Dog Press in October 2020 and another novel, Glamour Girl Gone, will be released by Close to The Bone Press, January 2021.


While going
through drawers of
paperwork, tucked away
in a wrinkled and torn
Manila envelope,

I rediscover
her naked poses, glistening,
captured in the Kodak instants
we'd snapped at that budget hotel
by the beach on a rainy day.

I'm struck in the guts
by the cold voltage of
that feline-clawed,
illuminated October city
named Nostalgia.

She was
twenty-three then,
unquestionably beautiful,
and in a time when
she loved me "forever."

I touch my fingers
to the plastic flesh, then
slide the pictures
back into the envelope and
let them fall into the trash,

together with a
greasy tuna can and
a crumpled pizza box.
I feel certain that she'd
planned this, leaving

the photographs to make me
very horny, and
very sad,
and I know that she'd
be satisfied.


A zippo lighter clicked shut,
all that burned and scorched
extinguished, letting the darkness that
illuminated the night creep in to suffocate.

The lace of a shoe torn free,
all that bound and held
falls free without an orbit to gravitate,
floating aimlessly into a loveless sun.

A bottle emptied of spirits,
all that remained and lingered
consumed, unconsummated to
bloat and poison and constipate.

A key without a lock.
A window frame with no glass.
The artist with no eyes and no hands.
The writer with no head for thought and no lyrics.

The strangers who would be lovers only to
regress once again to strangers
once the music had finished, the needle
having reached the end of the tracks.

Copyright © 2020 Stephen J. Golds.