Melancholy Hyperbole

Poetry about longing.

Pagan Babies

She wanted her cousin to live forever,
so she saved cents
to buy a pagan baby, and
another, another,
naming each one Karen,
so someone, somewhere
would never stop saying
Karen, oh, Karen,
like crickets
giving breath to the night.
So many cards engraved with
the name of each
unwitting stranger
christened Karen
in a pile next to
a stack of books
with pages of words that
talk around the question
of why Karen is not with us
anymore, possibilities thick as
stars reflected in stagnant water,
the variety of colors and brightness
hard to appreciate from this distance.

James Powers-BlackJames Powers-Black’s publication credits include Jonathan, Theodate, and Anon. He is working on his first novel, a re-imagining of Penelope’s story from The Odyssey that focuses on the partner left behind by a closeted, gay soldier stationed in Iraq. Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, he now lives in central Pennsylvania with his husband and dogs.

Categories: Poetry

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 replies

  1. Love the structure of this piece.

  2. “…possibilities thick as/stars reflected in stagnant water,/the variety of colors and brightness/hard to appreciate from this distance.”

    What a wonderful description! I really loved this one.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s