Lodestar Quarterly

Lodestar Quarterly
Figure reaching for a star Issue 11 • Fall 2004 • Featured Writer • Poetry

The Testimony of Orpheus

David Bergman

why did you turn?
why did you glance back?
why did you hesitate for that moment?
-- H.D. "Eurydice"

We were almost out of hell,
only a step or two more,
and I began to think: boys, boys.
I had just started noticing boys,
how beautiful they are, the fine hairs
that circle their nipples, the legs
that cinch at their narrow waists.
And I asked myself, "Are you making
the right decision? Do you really
want to spend the rest of your life
with her?" And I had to look back,
just had to look back to make sure.

David Bergman

David Bergman is a professor of English at Towson State University, the author of Gaiety Transfigured: Gay Representation in American Literature, and the editor of Camp Grounds: Style and Homosexuality. Bergman has published poetry in The Paris Review, The New Criterion, and The New Republic. He has edited a collection of Edmund White's essays entitled The Burning Library. His latest book is The Violet Hour: The Violet Quill and the Making of Gay Culture (Columbia University Press, 2004). He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

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