W. Todd Kaneko is the author of The Dead Wrestler Elegies (Curbside Splendor 2014) and co-author with Amorak Huey of Poetry: A Writers' Guide and Anthology (Bloomsbury Academic 2018). His poems and prose have appeared in The Normal School, Barrelhouse, Gulf Coast, SmokeLong Quarterly, The Rumpus and many other places. A Kundiman fellow, he is co-editor of Waxwing magazine and lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan where he is an Assistant Professor at Grand Valley State University.
is inevitable the way sunrise brings us nearer
to snowfall. Tonight, no one makes love.
Everyone makes love, tonight-young girls
in negligees thin like the wind with men
shirtless and twirling B-movie mustaches.
We will sweat until the breeze grows thick
with falling leaves and the sounds of traffic
under the bed. Afterwards, we'll smoke
cigarettes on the fire escape-we'll start
smoking if we need to because suddenly
nothing is impractical. We have wallets
bursting with twenties, lips slick with lipstick
and hearts pumping blood so hot our bodies
steam in the night. We don't want to sweat
until our next paycheck. Nothing is worth
sweating for, except the way you stir the air
like a tornado, like the echo of my electric
guitar in that parking lot where our
friends drive off with different hookers
each night, like smoke and applause and ghosts.
Everyone makes love for different reasons,
fingers gripping the edges of desks, faces
jammed against rear windows, roaring like
forests set ablaze. Tonight, our clocks are stopped,
and our calendars have dropped their pages,
because this is not the end, tonight. We remain
ageless until the air stops.