Jeff Walt

Winner of the 2004 Gival Press Oscar Wilde Poetry Award

Lying in Bed

I never imagined us with grey hair, or these bellies
we can’t get rid of no matter how many StairMasters
we climb. The wrinkles around our eyes

like miniature highways remind us where we’ve been,
where we’re headed. I rub the calluses on your palm.
A day of lifting rocks from the new garden. Delight

as if discovering your body for the first time—flesh
flabby as my grandmother’s bread dough under your arms,
capillaries blossoming on your face; blades of hair

sprout out your ears. There is no part of your body
my tongue hasn’t met, know it as well as my own.
I’ve learned to love my small sliver of this unkempt bed,

your snoring, the comfort of the sagging mattress, moaning
box springs and loose headboard that bangs the wall
when we toss and turn. I shut off the light, pull the bundle

of rumpled covers over us like the warm years we’ve lain together.
My pulse against your back reminds me how alive I am.
Our exquisite middle-aged bodies spooned, flawed, and used.

Copyright 2004 by Jeff Walt.

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Oscar Wilde Award Winners 2002-2004

Jeff Walt’s poetry is forthcoming or recently appeared in Runes, The Comstock Review, Hawai’i Review, Cream City Review, Clakamas Literary Review, Americas Review, Bamboo Ridge, Harpur Palate, The Sun, The Connecticut Review and the Gay & Lesbian Review. He was nominated for 2003 & 2004 Pushcart Prizes. Visit at

In addition, sometime next year, an anthology (Poetic Voices Without Borders), which will include the top poems entered in the Oscar Wilde Award contests in their original form, will be published.

Photography: Copyright © 2002 by Philip Farabaugh.