Stigmatas: An Audio Poem on First Love

“Oh, to be young and feel love’s keen sting!” said Albus Dumbledore once and we’re fairly certain that everyone exchanges knowing looks with their friends when they hear these nine, incredibly relatable words spoken out loud. But have you ever heard your professor, you boss, or your adviser recite poetry that he wrote about his first experience with young love? Well, we have! Today, Artful Dodge brings to you another bittersweet love story, in the form of a poem penned by our editor-in-chief, Daniel Bourne. Published in the 2014 issue of RHINO journal, Stigmatas is now available for public reading below, and you can listen to Bourne’s exclusive reading of it by following the link posted here.


by Daniel Bourne

I don’t have many ghosts. At least very few
care yet to own me. Sailing around

my head in a soft glow,
the after-life neon of a Dairy Queen, small

tremors of the earth, faint omens
of everlasting sex. I am seventeen

and my first girl friend has yet to dump me
while the light of the dashboard that I would like to describe as blue

has me fixed in its mother/father gaze and I
am already practicing

what I will say when I get home, inebriated as usual,
to my dead father

and to my mother who will one day be a ghost
about Jane Henschen and her mouth upon my neck,

my first one true love ever, though
she didn’t have the decency

to leave a deeper mark.

Ananya Shrestha
Asst. editor.

The Kiss by Gustav Klimt

The Kiss by Gustav Klimt


About artfuldodgewooster

Ohio based literary magazine, now over twenty years old, still in print, and gradually spreading across the digital world. Official Website:
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