Melancholy Hyperbole

Poetry about longing.

Who Knew

Who knew? It was the night
before the world ended,
and we sat up for no real
reason, just talking.
Before I knew it, you were
sitting on the front steps smoking
all the cigarettes I had smuggled in
from Seattle. Rain dripped off
the rotting soffit edge and filled
the ashtray with water;
it was disgusting but we kept
smoking. There was little else
to say, so we smoked.
Is memory just a trick,
a dog-licked host, a slick
little biscuit, hairy and lost,
absent from its good golden box?
Is the litany I repeat
repeated more for its
resplendent sound than
for any appeal to your grace?
I doubt, Lora, doubt
that you have thought of
me even once in the last
ten years: in the last twenty,
even. Though I have
thought about you
every single day.
Your name is always the first
word I form–always the last
word I form. I stand in
the Burger King and
ask for Lora. I answer
the phone wondering
if it is you. I write
Lora on my students’ papers,
sometimes meaning
A, sometimes F.
I find your name tattooed
in blood across my knuckles
and written in Sharpie on
the tops of my sneakers.
Who knew?
Carl James Grindley grew up on an island on Canada’s pacific coast but now lives and works in the south Bronx. His last book of poetry, Lora and The Dark Lady, was published in 2013 by Ravenna Press.

*Photo by Amber Luckey, acquired from Flickr.

Categories: Poetry

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62 replies

  1. Exquisite.

  2. Reblogged this on Random Mindless Chatter and commented:
    must read for every1..

  3. maybe one day she’ll come back to you and you can keep her and love her all you want, but for now just keep on doing what you’re doing.

  4. Very classy! It’s so touching.

  5. Reblogged this on rainteach and commented:
    thank you for sharing this

  6. Reblogged this on adestroth86 and commented:
    All i got to say is no one knew this not even me in this case

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