Three Love Poems by Josh Lefkowitz



Photo by Josh Lefkowitz
Photo by Josh Lefkowitz




Your text had turned me on:

A proposal of nighttime canoodling.


I was, therefore, a bit less enthused

by the I meant nighttime canoeing.


Let’s decide later?  Both sound fun.

I will pack a paddle either way.



Late Night Chat


What’s your favorite kind, she asked.

Oh geez, I like them all, I said, I like

the white sauce style from Alabama –

that was started by a place called

Big Bob’s Gibson’s, I believe – and

I like the brisket-oriented Texas type,

I like Kansas City burnt ends, I like

St. Louis ribs, I like the way Memphis

does it wet or dry, like the weather,

I like North Carolina vinegar-based

pulled pork, I haven’t yet tried South

Carolina mustard gold but I’m sure

I’d like that, too.  I have a question,

she asked – it was three o’clock

in the morning, we’d been talking

for hours / for months / like this –

when you order wings, do you like

them crispy or do you like them

more as like a conduit for the sauce.

Marry me

I wanted to say, but instead replied,

well, actually, I have a number of

thoughts about buffalo wings…



When We Use The Word Love


When we use the word love

said the one-eyed adjunct circa 2001

we must understand that by doing so

we’re referencing every other time

a poet before us has used the word love


This was on my mind last night

when I said it again in your direction

since I have sent it before oh yes

at others who came before


What if I tell you

it feels more real this time around

like a Casio keyboardist called up to play

on Carnegie Hall’s black grand


But didn’t you say such things before

you are perhaps justly wondering




So how do you know


I’m looking outside the window now

at the sky italicized in grey

just eating a can of cold sweet peas

just listening to myself


I’m learning a lot this life


What if I tell you

that I know that I know


Josh Lefkowitz won the 2013 Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Prize, an Avery Hopwood Award for Poetry at the University of Michigan, and was a finalist for the 2014 Brooklyn Non-Fiction Prize. His poems and essays have been published at Court GreenThe RumpusThe Huffington PostThe Offing, and many other places. He has also recorded humorous essays for NPR’s All Things Considered and BBC’s Americana. In June 2016, Josh will be in residence as a poet at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in Berkeley, CA.