by: Archie Austin Coates
- LONG the
Avenue of an afternoon,
- Lithe, slim youths
- Sauntering ...
- Sleek of hair, and trim, and narrow of hip,
- With white, soft necks and ties puffed out,
- Beneath faces artfully made just a bit too beautiful
- And not quite manly.
- They stroll slowly,
- Shooting side-glances into passing faces,
- At the corner
- A painted woman
- Shambles into a doorway ...
- Her lips are of dry flame,
- And in her eyes are flames of hatred,
- Hatred and scorn, bitter and inexpressible,
- For these slim youths,
- Her rivals.
MORE POEMS BY ARCHIE AUSTIN COATES
"Rivals" is reprinted
from Poetica Erotica. New York: Crown Publishers, 1921.