Do you love me enough that I may be weak with you? Everyone loves strength, but do you love me for my weakness? That is the real test. Do you love me stripped of everything that might be lost, for only the things I will have forever?
– Alain de Botton
Have you ever noticed when you’re tired, your fingers don’t grip things as tightly as they should? That things slip through them more often than you wish?
I feel as though I am those fingers and life is slipping through me.
– Kelsey Danielle
I want to love you like an open field. A place large enough for you to release the heavy creatures of your heart. A place large enough for you to wander and all you see for miles and miles is me.
– Kelsey Danielle
But morning comes with small
reprieves of coffee and birdsong.
A tree outside the window
which was simply shadow moments ago
takes back its branches twig
by leafy twig.
And as I take my body back
the sun lays its warm muzzle on my lap
as if to make amends.”
– Linda Pastan
Define a forest. The men who meant to.
The houses I have lived in and left.
With unnatural affection for the warped glass.
The waves sound like the freeway
and the cars mimic the sea.
We are living on a pain and pleasure planet.
I have countries to see.
I insisted, Earth,
upon your friendship.
Have I written sufficiently? We are all talk.
– Gabriella Klein
My left hand will live longer than my right. The rivers
of my palms tell me so.
Never argue with rivers. Never expect your lives to finish
at the same time. I think
praying, I think clapping is how hands mourn. I think
staying up and waiting
for paintings to sigh is science. In another dimension this
is exactly what’s happening,
it’s what they write grants about: the chromodynamics
of mournful Whistlers,
the audible sorrow and beta decay of Old Battersea Bridge.
I like the idea of different
theres and elsewheres, an Idaho known for bluegrass,
a Bronx where people talk
like violets smell. Perhaps I am somewhere patient, somehow
kind, perhaps in the nook
of a cousin universe I’ve never defiled or betrayed
anyone. Here I have
two hands and they are vanishing, the hollow of your back
to rest my cheek against,
your voice and little else but my assiduous fear to cherish.
My hands are webbed
like the wind-torn work of a spider, like they squeezed
something in the womb
but couldn’t hang on. One of those other worlds
or a life I felt
passing through mine, or the ocean inside my mother’s belly
she had to scream out.
Here, when I say I never want to be without you,
somewhere else I am saying
I never want to be without you again. And when I touch you
in each of the places we meet,
in all of the lives we are, it’s with hands that are dying
When I don’t touch you it’s a mistake in any life,
in each place and forever.
– Bob Hicok
Sometimes I think, a tumor was once a flower, there has been no rain for years, we do not recall the times between brush fire seasons, we share evacuation tips and hose each other’s roofs when we spot smoke in the distance. Though wet roofs will not help, this is the closest we come as neighbors to embracing. We smile, wave from our yards, robed, dogs bounding in fatalistic, knowing circles. The fire is a rising tide. Time is measured in Fahrenheit. I want to tell you, Hey Bob, did you know that love is just an electric wire hooked from your eyes straight back to your past, that love is a word that means nothing more than survival, that without love we would have all smashed our skulls against the cave walls until our thoughts dripped viscous into our eyes, blinding us from whatever meaningless things we’ve painted of ourselves. But then I think, who doesn’t know that? So instead I watch the stream of water arching from the hose to the shingles, knowing that it will all soon be smoldering cinders, and the fire will consume the oxygen and make each breath we take thinner, and this is like a lovely flower.
– Connor Holmes
Wow!! Bravo, Mr. Holmes. Brilliant first published poem.