Christopher Soden — “Between Frog Princes”

I count our time apart since before
our first collusion and after
the sunny cold Christmas morning
I ran out to your car, still wearing
my robe of black silk. Inappropriate
demeanor for a sovereign, perhaps.

Still though, what else could I
have done, knowing you were leaving
alone, to spend the holiday balance
with your mother, viable queen
of wind and tide?

The cool summer moon has ascended
over the castle, and I take respite
supposing your eyes are watching
the same moon. Solitary dangle.

I strip by the pool and sing
the long low raspy songs
of frog hunger, sometimes playing
my oboe, reflective and bleak.
Amongst the alleys and hills
and brooks our peasant brothers
add their aching boy harmony.

Gradually the petals of the orchid
you tasted split and capitulate,
and I am there, again, suddenly,
lost in a lather of frosty stars
and simmering champagne, sin
and error pining from the radio.

And you and I, frail and vigorous
in our wanting, desire keen
and negotiable as a blade
across the open palm,
pummeled with the insistent
rhythm of unmistakable craving.

Princesses do not comprehend
the tender hide beneath our stripes
and linen, damp and swarthy,
the way our mouths part
as croak music burbles
from the transformation of hope.
There is a secret kingdom,
Terry, Frog Prince of Giddings,
where you will find grieving ends
and bruises soothed and sutures
administered with careful index
and thumb tips, and you are

always welcome. There is
drought here, and every night
I do the rain dance (the one
every black tadpole knows)
but it is just not the same.

Christopher Soden received his MFA in Poetry from Vermont College in January 2005. His collection Closer was released by QueerMojo in June 2011. He received Full Fellowship to Lambda Literary’s Retreat for Emerging LGBT Voices. Other honors: Distinguished Poets of Dallas, PSA’s Poetry in Motion, Founding Member, President and President Emeritus of The Dallas Poets Community. Publishing credits include: Rattle, Cortland Review, G & L Review, Glitterwolf, Texas Observer, Off the Rocks, James White Review.