Laura Foley 

I Go Down to the River

After making love with a woman
for the first time ever,
I go down to the river where I grew up
and touch it, for the first time ever,
dipping my fingers in the chill East River,
tasting salt from the sea,
as boat-waves flow toward me,
washing over my ankles,
as black-tipped seagulls circle my head.


(previously published in Lavender Review)



So much work awaits,
my small room littered with books,
half-written papers, mid-unit
evaluations, applications, essays.

Still, I go out,
sit in the coffee shop all day
reading Cavafy’s poems,
lost like him
to all but the sensuous life.

I cross slippery streets,
slide down two avenues
through icy tunnels,
under low-leaning branches,
to reach the old Greek coffee shop.

The great gay poet
wrote of his shame, his
strong desire for men,
could have been killed
for his love.

My window seat
offers a view out—or in—
as ice drops
from the roiled heavens.


(previously published in Night Ringing)



Two Women

We meet on the boardwalk,
biggest moon of the year,
lifting her pretty face
from the river to the east,
savor sweet mangoes
we buy on the street.
Dripping, soft and ripe,
we eat by moonlight,
without a knife.



(previously published in The Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide)



Laura Foley won first place in the Common Goods Poetry Contest, judged by Garrison Keillor (her poem was read on Prairie Home Companion); the 2016 National Outermost Poetry Prize, judged by Marge Piercy; Harpur Palate’s Milton Kessler Memorial Poetry Award; and the Grand Prize for the Atlanta Review’s International Poetry Contest. She is the author of five poetry collections.  The Glass Tree won the Foreword Book of the Year Award, Silver, and was a Finalist for the New Hampshire Writer’s Project, Outstanding Book of Poetry. Joy Street won the Bisexual-Writer’s Award. Her poems have appeared in journals and magazines including Valparaiso Poetry Review, Inquiring Mind, Pulse Magazine, Poetry Nook, Lavender Review, The Mom Egg Review and in the British Aesthetica Magazine.