Iowa Writes


I lie in bed
While he whispers in her ear
That no one is there.

Nothing is said
About me, though I stroke her back
With my slack

Penis, saying I love her.
My scrotum's a fig.
He is big

And blossoms above her—
He kisses her face,
They embrace,

Her legs circle his hips.
Her eyes close.
She opens

Her lips.
She speaks to him.
I lean close, listening in the dim

Light for his name.
She says. "Love."

It is always the same.

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting


Stephen Parker lives in Philadelphia. His first collection of poems, tentatively titled Autopsy, has been scheduled for publication by Kayak Books.

"Love" appears in the inaugural issue of The Iowa Review, published in Winter 1970. It is available on The Iowa Review's digital archive.

This page was first displayed
on June 07, 2013

Find us on Facebook