COCK TEASE She had a raw mouth for twelve, barely-there breasts and a name that made her reckless and surly by turns. She liked to be touched and could see it might be her undoing, she fended off advances with savage fatalism or shifted just out of reach like a sunbather avoiding a creeping block of shade. It was wrong to want the kind of attention boys were willing to give her and she circled as close as she could without brushing against it, she brushed against it with her eyes averted before startling away like something scalded. I was embarrassed to court her company but risked the taint for her reputation’s promise, hand working beneath her cotton shirt, fingers grazing the surprising length of a nipple before she bolted, though never far enough to shut the door completely. That crude tug of war was everything on offer between us and we chafed against each other with a sour sort of affection. MINKE WHALE IN SLO-MO A dark patch of ocean blisters up near the gunwale with alien deliberation, sea-water on the rising surface crackling and receding like celluloid snared in a projector’s heat before the grappling hook of the dorsal fin enters the frame, pinning the shapeless shape to a name, to identifiable attributes and traits, the yellow dory jarred by the collision then rocking back as the minke shears down and away and disappears like a drunk driver fleeing a minor accident through backroads, deserted streets. Repeat the thirty-second clip a dozen times for the little mystery’s slow-motion resolve, for that rough kiss so impulsive and unexpected it leaves the diminutive wooden boat shaking on the ocean. Poems from Under the Keel, Michael Crummey, Anansi 2013. Reprinted with permission from the press. You can hear Michael read in several cities in the weeks to come.