Sept/Oct 2022 • Vol. XLIV No. 5 Poetry |

Blue Peony

The Kenyon Review · "Blue Peony" by Peter LaBerge We didn’t know it then, but already we had begun our version of opening: ultraviolet in the wind-wound June. Here we were, Columbus again. Sunday: blueberry pancakes in bed. Again, bells pollinating morning with music: sidewalk worship, milk crate drum. We knew no god, but we opened the windows in the kitchen anyway. Blue on the seed packet, ultraviolet & terrified upon opening. Boys, boys queered upon opening — years ago, not yet anyone to each other, in basements separated by whole states. Muting our buzzing TVs—only once we were sure everyone around us was asleep. Then, touching ourselves—watching the men we dreamt of loving as they mouthed whole scenes we knew by heart—watching these men & that love assembling, then disassembling into gray snow. Later, still strangers to each other, we’d rinse the taste of first love from our mouths with day-old water. Even once, years later, we’d open

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Peter LaBerge is the author of the chapbooks Makeshift Cathedral (YesYes Books, 2017) and Hook (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2015). His recent work appears in Best New Poets, Crazyhorse, Harvard Review, Iowa Review, Pleiades, Tin House, and elsewhere. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Adroit Journal, and recently graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania. For more, visit www.peterlaberge.com.

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The Kenyon Review · "Blue Peony" by Peter LaBerge We didn’t know it then, but already we had begun our version of opening: ultraviolet in the wind-wound June. Here we […]

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