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1710: Absence | Jeffrey McDaniel

Jeffrey McDaniel

On the scales of desire, your absence weighs more
than someone else’s presence, so I say no thanks

to the woman who throws her girdle at my feet,
as I drop a postcard in the mailbox and watch it

throb like a blue heart in the dark. Your eyes
are so green – one of your parents must be

part traffic light. We’re both self-centered,
but the world revolves around us at the same speed.

Last night I tossed and turned inside a thundercloud.
This morning my sheets were covered in pollen.

I remember the long division of Saturday’s
pomegranate, a thousand nebulae in your hair,

as soldiers marched by, dragging big army bags
filled with water balloons, and we passed a lit match,

back and forth, between our lips, under an oak tree
I had absolutely nothing to do with.

I wanted to know you, not half know you. I wanted to know if I could love you, if you would let me, if there could be an honesty between us. I know I can only confess this once, or maybe twice, for we are nothing, were nothing, and memories are more sacred the quieter you keep them. There are things I know and love: the taste of jasmine tea flowering on my tongue, undoing the hairpins at night and letting my hair tumble down piece by piece, the sky in all its iterations, candles burning blessings until they are a puddle of wax in a sand circles, kisses between my shoulder blades. You are not one of these, known and beloved, though I imagine perhaps. Had we started earlier, had you tried harder.

I know history. There are many names in history/but none of them are ours.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 6th, 2013 04:30 am (UTC)
This is a beautiful poem, and your writing is exquisite -- as in, it is both lovely and delicate, the tracing of frost on Southern grass in the winter mornings before it melts into dew and vanishes.
May. 7th, 2013 07:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I feel honored that you'd describe something I wrote like that!
May. 6th, 2013 08:40 am (UTC)
Thanks, I love this one!
May. 6th, 2013 09:30 am (UTC)
I love the specifics and use of objects and memories in both the poem and your writing.
May. 6th, 2013 06:22 pm (UTC)
Love Jeffrey McDaniel, love your passage at the end. I identify very strongly right now with the feeling you describe.
May. 6th, 2013 08:31 pm (UTC)
Yes. Yes. Yes. To all of this.
May. 7th, 2013 12:06 am (UTC)
the first two lines of this poem and your piece of writing. <3
May. 8th, 2013 09:17 pm (UTC)
loved this.
thank you. x
May. 9th, 2013 02:44 am (UTC)
I like your description of the diminishing time we have for anything loved.
Zsuzsa Sikné Molnár
Jun. 14th, 2013 09:23 pm (UTC)
I love your lines!
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )


poetry, exceptindreams
a poem some days

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