No Longer Young


In moments of great pain
I think of you so young,
The first time our unclothed bodies touched,
Pressed and rubbed together
In the satin sea of my small bed,
A secret in my parents’ house.

It was the first time I felt
The length, the breadth, the depth,
The full measure of myself,
Alive, awake and rippling through every pore.

Look, look what time has done!
I awoke this morning,
No longer young.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

My Secret


Plain, ordinary people
Sometimes fall in love,
Something that feels like love,
However brief.

It feels like love when it happens
To plain, ordinary people like me,
Who are not what you might call,
Good looking.

I go through life’s errands
Mostly unnoticed,
And then it happens.
I fall in love with a face,
With the gentle curl of her hair,
The liquid flow of her neck,
The sculpture of her fingers,
With something I cannot describe.

She notices me noticing her,
So I pretend not to notice
While I imagine she sees through
My plain appearance
Into my unclaimed heart.

Introductions are made,
We speak.
She shows no sign of knowing
That it is my wandering spirit
That has lingered here
To absorb the sound of her voice,
The light in her eyes.

She is formal and polite,
Quick to withdraw.

My secret is safe.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Men Are Hungry


O young women be careful
How you smile at men.
You may think it common courtesy,
Or a simple act of friendliness
To be openhearted and cheerful,
But you must be careful
Because men are hungry,
Though they will try and disguise it
In a thousand different ways,
Men are hungry.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Maria Something


She doesn’t know why her car stopped.
I don’t know why it ran,
A thing many times discarded,
Salvaged only by her desperate situation.

From Mexico she comes,
This young, sculptured woman,
To work the rag trade
In secret sweaty buildings
Where all generations labor
Behind rows of blunt, brutish machines.

I cannot help her,
Knowing little about cars,
Less about miracles.
I lend her my phone.

“Gracias,” she says, smiling so sincerely.
Her eyes are black stars in a white-hot sky.

A breeze riffles her pleated white skirt
With hot and dusty Sunday afternoon air,
Revealing her long, leather-brown legs.

She is calling her cousin,
Waiting for him to answer,
Leaning against the warm metal skin of my car,
Pressing her carved, callused fingers
Against her feverish forehead,
Pulling her burnished brown hair away from her moist neck.

She waits for him to answer.
I wait for him not to answer.

I want to be with her
In some flickering candlelit room,
Her lips brushing against my ear as she whispers.

I want to touch the source
Of this inviolable beauty.
I want to know how she can smile
So killingly sweet,
Knowing what America would do
With such a life.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved