Melancholy Hyperbole

Poetry about longing.

If I Was Your Answer

I’d probably already know the question. I wouldn’t mouth what,

what like a screen door smacks in the wind what, what would it take,

could I divulge it? I wouldn’t cringe between the hair-triggers

and eyes charcoaled with grief. Did I do that to you? I snap hard

against our frame. A goldfish may leap out of its tank, suffocate.

A betta may just bludgeon itself to death. When you go, you have

two choices: one is lonely, the other is angry. To tell you the truth,

I never understood it—the fish I’ve had were less dramatic:

A hovering orange blimp one morning, or a stranger-danger lesson

with a slow bacterial decent. It turns out I’m ill-equipped to burn

a house down. For starters, my hands won’t unclinch, I have eight

blood moons rising, my jaw hung open for days like a clamshell

and the fruit’s dodgy. You look at me and I know: you no longer smell

anything sweet. I wonder if pheromones are like oil lamps,

if you can reach the end of your wick and Lights out, Baby!

If that explains this smolder, or that my left elbow has been bent

out of shape without the log of your body to contain it. At night

I beat at impossible shapes: a cookie cutter star, a cartoon frog—

my voicebox sore from croaking But if I know you, I’ll know

what you do


but I don’t                                   and I don’t.


RThRhiannon Thorne’s work has appeared in Midwest Quarterly, Foundling Review, Sheepshead Review,  Sierra Nevada Review, and Bop Dead City.  She is the managing editor of cahoodaloodaling, a interview editor and book reviewer at Up the Staircase Quarterly, and an editorial intern for Sundress Publications.


Categories: Poetry

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

1 reply


  1. If I Was Your Answer | Rhiannon Thorne

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