You and Me Among the Gallows
with Guillotines in the Distance

by TRAVIS WAYNE DENTON

Morning was a whitecap, The oaks not yet on fire Like they were two states east, and remember You said it would be a lovely Time to see the gallows And see for the first time How dawn breaks through the long Frame, the trapdoor napping, Its silver hinges like wings, just a glimmer. You wanted to be moved by the absence Of the angel of the lord, not yet Arrived and still tired from all that heavy lifting, The crows cooing and cawing. Throngs of people somewhere else still hovering Above their coffee and eggs, the only soul Was a dog that lifted his head at our footfalls, Thinking it crazy that you And I’d be here so near morning, A bone in his lap picked clean. You fixed on one prinked with roses And asked that I tell you one true thing And I, making a move, kissed you, The sun by now lumbering up the platform Revealing rows of gallows, Scattered like skyscrapers rising from a deserted city In a valley—the two of us—lovers among the gallows— Dressed to the nines in our brokenness and vows, Never was there a thing so human, And if we stood still too long Ivy would root up our feet.

TRAVIS WAYNE DENTON lives in Atlanta where he is the Associate Director of Poetry @ TECH as well as a McEver Chair in Poetry at Georgia Tech. He is founding editor of the literary arts publication, Terminus Magazine. His poems have appeared in numerous journals, magazines and anthologies. His second full-length collection of poems, When Pianos Fall from the Sky, will be published in 2012 by Marick Press.