Vasant 2023 Poems - Scott Thomas Outlar


Queen’s Gambit
By Scott Thomas Outlar


What’re seconds in life
to pick up your coat
dust your courage
shine the sleeves


or twenty toward a regiment
or thirty for the screws

What does one minute matter
during the moment of laughter


Forty days and bleed again


What’s five years of the groundhog
haunting the burrows
chasing the hare
choked by the tail


or six to leave permanent scars
or seven stitches through the night


What does one hour’s profit measure
when the till is hollowed out


Eighty gods dream of jinn


nines in the gallows
nines where the genes swirl
nines beyond the vapor trail


nine promises intersect at zero-point



Your genesis was pink, soon purple
origin everlasting


Be kind to the kin
of your heart


These genes form goosebumps on your flesh
until ash claims the bones


but I’ll still be here
picking through the dust
looking for the lust that promised love


And in the winter
when all seems barren
we can return, naked and empty
to the innocence where we belong


Scott Thomas Outlar is originally from Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. He now lives and writes in Frederick, Maryland. His work has been nominated multiple times for both the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. He guest-edited the Hope Anthology of Poetry from CultureCult Press as well as the 2019-2023 Western Voices editions of Setu Mag. He is the author of seven books, including Songs of a Dissident (2015), Abstract Visions of Light (2018), Of Sand and Sugar (2019), and Evermore (2021 - written with co-author Mihaela Melnic). Selections of his poetry have been translated and published in 14 languages. He has been a weekly contributor at Dissident Voice for the past eight and a half years.


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