I’m learning something about poetry that I should have known a long time ago. Revision is the key. In the past, I’ve been the type to just sort of vomit up poems and leave them lying there, sometimes vaguely interesting but also usually a little putrid. My results turn out better when I do some warm-up writing and then mess around with the poem that comes out after it’s been born. I don’t think this April’s poems smell all that bad.
Someone Else’s Summer I lived outside my body that summer. The hay in the barn tickled someone else’s nose as he watched your eyes go tender holding a kitten against your cheek. Someone else walked beside you, kicking up dust on the gravel road, the dog nipping at our heels. We sat down on the culvert, watched the water pass below. You knew it wasn’t me– But the dog, the dog was fooled. Smelled like me, must be me— scent the best placeholder for the girl who should have been there. But she missed the scent of Thunder and Lightning through the window. Someone else opened her arms wide, let the fat, cold droplets fall on her skin. Someone else pulled the wedding dress from beneath the bed and told you her secrets. Someone else drove the car the night all the sickness started. One phone call, one pause that was Too Long. Someone else drove the car through that dark summer night and that’s why we got so lost.