by Stephen Deutsch

My love affair
with the sun 
began early one
March, after 
a particularly brutal

No one could
have predicted 
it. After all I
was a pale 
and pasty 
child, who shriveled 
and spent 
summers slathered
in calamine

These days
I like nothing 
better than 
to sit in full sun,
skin alive 
from the warmth,
like the afterglow
of a lover’s

Recently, a friend 
called me Zonker 
and the name took off 
like a solar
flare. I haven’t 
had a nickname 
in 60 years—
and Zonker
is so much 
finer than what
they called me 
when I was young.

Today, as I sit
in the morning 
sun—like a lizard
reviving, I imagine
Sol bequeathing me
the perfect 
tan, as I hoist
the First Annual 
Zonker Tanning Award 
up to the full sun.

Steve Deutsch has been widely published both online and in print. He was nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize. He is poetry editor for Centered Magazine. His chapbook, Perhaps You Can, was published in 2019 by Kelsay Press. His full length book, Persistence of Memory was published in 2020 by Kelsay, Steve’s third book of poetry, Going, Going, Gone, has just been published. Follow him at this blog stevieslaw@wordpress.com or on Twitter @stevieslaw.