Mid-Century Modern

Christian Gullette

Behind glass walls,

the host slices limes.

I’d follow L.A. boys anywhere.

One kneels poolside

with a tray of Jell-O shots,

his shoulders peeling.

Desert palms echo in Ray-Bans.

Another guy fidgets with the knot

in my swimsuit.

Without indoors or outdoors,

I can invite everything in.

By the searing metal ladder,

memory is too hot

to climb out of.

My husband watches from a strip

of artificial grass.

In the desert

you have big afternoons,

not big nights.

Christian Gullette is a National Poetry Series finalist, and his poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, New England Review, Northwest Review, and The Los Angeles Review, among others. He is the editor-in-chief of The Cortland Review.
Originally published:
October 5, 2022



Finding company on and off the page
Carl Phillips


Emily Ogden and Dana Spiotta

Reckoning with middle age and complicity
Emily Ogden
Dana Spiotta

The Stakes of Dictee

An introduction to a famously difficult work
Ken Chen

You Might Also Like

Poem of the Week


Lena Moses-Schmitt

Poem of the Week

The Bluebird Motel

Emily Fragos


Help keep print culture alive. For a limited time, enjoy 10% off two- and three-year subscriptions.