D. Gilson

“On Lake Rabun, Jesus Baptizes Peter”


On Lake Rabun, Jesus Baptizes Peter


Every invitation to white railing
flecked & peeling. The rough of feet
against dock, two naked boys

ought not run on planks
that rot & splinter with stray
two penny nails. I do not mind

you jumping first. Calling out, Follow.
I do not mind the slick of moss
in my hair, your dripping rope of snot.

& because the water will not clean
us, your kiss on my ear, the tease
of a brother, your arms that push

me, laughing, asunder.


“When My Father Speaks of His Past Life”


When My Father Speaks of His Past Life


Cueing from my father’s baseball cap,
United States Air Force Retired,
the waiter works for his tip, Thank you
for your service, sir. And my father 

lauds not the catfish before him, planked
and cornbreaded, but the fish
in Alabama, Let me tell you, nothing
beats those bayou catfish cabins

My father tells our waiter of his favorite,
Jack’s Shack, Fifteen miles south
of Mobile, where he met his wife,

not my mother, the story I have never 

heard (the one he would never tell me),
She played “House of the Rising Sun”
on the jukebox. I half-listen to them talk

about her. I half-listen, my mother’s son.


D. Gilson