September 29, 2017

Two Poems by Tobi Alfier

Ode to a Winter Night

These hands.
Tea-stained, arthritic,
stubborn as the stars
that bloom night after night.
Neither rest easy or well.

What is time in the face of all seasons?
Fall turns to winter. 
Trees gleam auburn
before turning bare.

These hands beckon:
come closer friend.
Set with me by the fire.
Let’s toast to a life full-lived.

Our merlot flickers shadows
over our faces. Whispered secrets
trace the echoes of night.
Calm hands, smooth skin—
I kiss your closing eyes.

Sand-Colored Smile

He says her neck smells like butterscotch.
Not cinnamon,
not sadness,
not sweat, but butterscotch.
Her father always used to carry that
in his pocket, in his car, in his briefcase—
that was his trademark.
Her mother complaining about the dental bills,
her special secret with her father,
and now her neck smells of remembrance
and sweetness.

His neck is that perfect smile
of skin beneath a short haircut.
She normally prefers long hair on men
a little curly, a little wild,
she thinks it may be the sign of an artist,
but this man, she can run her fingertip across
the back of his neck, the sea of salt and pepper
along the shore of sand-colored skin— it causes her
to think differently about men who care to show
this part to her.  Like a woman’s ankle in the 1800’s,  
she understands the obsession of a little skin.
She exhales.

Tobi Alfier (Cogswell) is a multiple Pushcart nominee and a Best of the Net nominee.  Her current chapbooks include “Down Anstruther Way” (Scotland poems) from FutureCycle Press, and her full-length collection “Somewhere, Anywhere, Doesn’t Matter Where” is forthcoming from Kelsay Books. She is co-editor of San Pedro River Review (

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