POETRY AUGUST 9, 2013
I’m not the guy you’d want to live with.
Take small talk—I’m no good, and when
you told me your hydrangeas bloomed
(puffs of powder blue outside the door)
I could barely nod, much less smile.
Take smiles—they seem so natural,
even my dog smiles, but me, I need
reminding that it’s time to get
those muscles working right. As for work—
I want things done, but when I’m pushed
I get exhausted before I try.
Although, I did try. Lord, didn’t I?
I’d like some grace: Take things in stride.
Like entering a room and if, say,
my shirt comes loose (the turquoise one
that reminds you of my eyes), I want
to slip it back beneath my belt with a wink
that says I can’t seem to keep myself together
and you’d know I was lying. In fact, I’d speak
all lies, beneath each one a truth you’d
recognize. My frown, a smile. The tilt
of my head, what words could never say.
Like those hydrangeas. Without you, no
blooms this year. And they’re hardly missed.