Summer 2013 • Vol. XXXV No. 3 PoetryJuly 1, 2013 |

Separate City: Prose Poems: Explaining Wingrove

If I were gay, Wingrove said, I could get laid here so fast. We hadn't seen each other since his brother died and were walking past the lavender flags. In high school, he called his brother deviant. There was a sheik from Dubai who fell in love with John. Limousines and champagne, last-minute flights to Rome, gifts of Versace, the parents unsure what to make of parties Wingrove broke up: clean up the coke, get out of Mom's room. Then, suddenly, no one for the brother to touch. Fear of contagion, of who might talk. Think that's bad? Their father dies and Wingrove drops out to care for the one he hated so fiercely. And the shame he now wants to explain: how it became easier. As his brother grew lighter, this is all he can say, a gesture that even now guides the body. It became easier to lift him.

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Keith Ekiss is a Jones Lecturer in Creative Writing at Stanford University and a former Wallace Stegner Fellow. He is the author of Pima Road Notebook (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2010) and the translator of The Fire’s Journey by the Costa Rican poet Eunice Odio (Tavern Books, Fall 2012).

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