Saturday, July 22, 2006

my first poem since my thesis

after Jack Ridl’s “Waking Up In A Cold Sweat”

The first thing you do is reach for the clock, push the glow button, check the time. Then, realizing you are half-naked, cold, and alone, you fumble around the bed grasping for pillows and that ratty white teddy bear turned gray with the half rubbed out nose and loose string mouth. And what about your mouth? Chapped and cracking along the bottom. Lips remember the last time you kissed him—quick and salty in the early airport. You imagine him sleeping now, not a thought in the world past his snores. Worn out from a long day of work. Or maybe, a day off. Spent hiking with someone else around a deserted lake. Unending conversation between fingers. And what about the two hour kayak? A bottle of wine, reading novels by the shore? It’s all too much, too much even for Darwin to create and evolve into some convoluted theory. You think maybe you dreamt it all, and that any minute you’ll wake up to daylight two years prior with stacks of poems left to write and sixteen phone calls to return. You remember after college, the last time you packed up to move home, boxes of books and a rough corner leaving a scratch above your right knee. The goodbye that never happened. Just a phone call to say, you know you can call me anytime; a brief and vice versa. Then you remember—the second bottle of wine, a folder full of email, the past two years of phone calls, a book on the passenger seat of his car, the state park where his dad took him fly fishing as a child, your first love poem, the poster of Picasso’s Old Guitarist, and you know, everything’s fine. On the other side of the bed, you catch his imprint in the mattress, roll over and curl your back against the empty space, breathe deeply and swear you can feel his arm wrap slowly around your waist.


Blogger mer said...

This poem leaves me a bit breathless and even more wistful...I've read it several times, and each time it's still as fresh as the first.

9:51 PM | Permalink  

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