Fires \\ Eye


Across town, in my old house
there was a fireplace 
in which I built a blaze
occasionally to create
a warm ambience if a guy
I had the hots for
were sitting on my couch.

The juggling act was this:
stoke the coals and add wood
to keep up the flames, or keep
his focus on body heat and
maybe getting his due.  Guess
which won out.  Guess which
fire I wanted to burn me.


Can't keep yourself off of
pretty men, can you?  Can't
study the sidewalk
or a faraway wall.
Always looking out for some
blitzkrieg-like come-on,
a double appraisal,
a suggestion, a clue.

Well one day your stare
will feel rude as the finger
to some beautiful straight stud
and he's gonna make it a
federal case, make you over
in tux black, and won't you be
swank & proud, whistled at,
puffed up for days.

James Kangas

James Kangas has worked as a librarian, musician, and cab driver. He has had poems in Atlanta Review, Connecticut Review, The New York Quarterly, The Tampa Review, West Branch, et al. His chapbook, Breath of Eden, was published by Sibling Rivalry Press in 2019.