Mark Ward: A Love So Bright
Photo: Joanna C. Valente

Photo: Joanna C. Valente

Love Song


After the breakup, he drove to the West
Coast. Each state sputtering out, mile markers
nullifying the gnawing in his chest. 

Sporadic streetlights highlight his starker
shape: a drive-by halo floodlights her face - 

the photo dwarfed by the passenger seat, 
empty. He reclines in black and white, chase

still alive; each moment is sweet, replete
with a need to document everything,  

to photograph this student symphony, 
a love so bright it could fight anything. 

Without these pix, it’s just alimony, 
a road trip. He cuts her from the photo, 
then himself, leaving legs, heartless torsos. 


Mark Ward is the author of Circumference (Finishing Line Press, 2018). His work has featured in The Irish TimesPoetry Ireland ReviewCorditeSoftblow, Assaracus, and many more, most recently the anthology Lovejets: Queer Male Poets on 200 Years of Walt Whitman. He is the founding editor of Impossible Archetype, an international journal of LGBTQ+ poetry. He is currently working on his first full-length collection, Nightlight.