Poetry from Joshua Torrence

Twisting branches from an angel oak tree

Photo: Kevin Wenning

Love Song

The boy pulled the boy out of the tree.
Dragged him out by his ankles, kicking
And wild, clinging to the dead bark
Where he had slept for ten thousand years.

But hunger. But thirst. But tongue, dry
As a midwinter day. The boy pulled the boy
Into his arms. Warmth and drum and thaw.
The boy buried his face in the boy’s chest

Because the sun was too loud, and the geese
Would not stop calling, and waking up was
A wound, a red word etched on the boy’s
Bare thigh. This boy, these arms, what were they

Here for? What had they come to do? They held
Him. He held him, and walked through the deep
Snow, out of the gray woods. The boy took on
The boy’s strange scent. Oak. Oak and sweat.

Joshua Torrence is a queer writer studying English and psychology at Washington College. His poems have appeared in Swim Press and the Oakland Arts Review. He self-published his first poetry collection, I Have Never Been Reconciled, in April 2020. He splits his time between Baltimore County and Chestertown, Maryland, tap dancing and tarot reading in his spare time.

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