Melancholy Hyperbole

Poetry about longing.

Angel. Moon.

Through his cigarette smoke,
the moon (no, not the moon, not here,
not in this poem, as over-used as angels
and lit cigarettes after sex)
but he can’t help it. He sees the moon,
hazy (of course) with wings
and smouldering stars
(at least not twinkling)
and ash, not fire but dust
like her, in the room behind him,
while he leans on the hotel’s
balcony rails, cold metal (obviously) his face behind
the (always poetic) curling cigarette smoke.
No surprise then that she’d said
I’m an angel,
and this time, who was he to disagree?
she said, I can taste God.
He had touched her wings,
finger-swept them, the feathers
sturdier than he thought
(something new–not fragile).
Her face had turned away,
he saw her smoke and ash
(it became strange, the moon,
through the slats of the blinds).
He hated the hotel the lights
the neon angel sign flashing
through his smoke, or maybe that was the moon,
yellow, or the cigarette–orange tip then ash
like the dust in the room
the smoldering angel skin on the sheets.
Cigarette to his lips he inhaled
the smell of her wings on his fingers.

marissa mcnamara 1Marissa McNamara teaches English at a two year college in Atlanta,Georgia. When she was working on her bachelor’s degree, a professor told her that she was not a good writer, and she stopped writing for 15 years. Then she decided that he was wrong and began writing again. Marissa enjoys traveling, reading, her two crazy dogs, and her yard art, including one concrete chicken and a flock of pink plastic flamingos. Her work has appeared in several publications including RATTLE, StorySouth, and Future Cycle. She has work forthcoming in The Cortland Review.


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