Melancholy Hyperbole

Poetry about longing.


Fixing punctures

I say, it’s not you, it’s me. Repeat three times, till her face softens and I know the words have sunk in. I’ll always love you, I add, waiting for the smile that makes things better. I say I’ll fix a chilli for dinner, homemade guacamole, my famous salsa with tomatoes just past ripe. I hold the door; tip my chin for the kiss and she’s off. All through the […]

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A phase she went through

You write to say you’re happy now, better since you ditched smoking and took up Pilates. You and the Yank – the one with the huge inheritance – have produced a son called Josh.   You take fortnights in the Maldives. You never think of that weekend in Whitby, and have thrown out that photo of us in ripped fishnets, dancing uncontrollably to the only cheerful record by The Cure. […]

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You come through the front door now, reach down to hug the dog, look up at me with a shrug. What else is there to do?   I hold my arms at my sides, like some shy audience member called on stage by Letterman, but their nerves vibrate as if two phantom limbs are reaching out.   They think you’re still my wife, can feel your charge, the alternating current, […]

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She’s in love with the boy and even if they have to run away she’s gonna marry that boy someday. — Trisha Yearwood     I change the word to girl and sing you that country song— you at the kitchen sink, me heading out for work.   You wipe soap on your apron, hold my face in your hands to say goodbye.   But when I come home, no […]

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We could have burned the house down

A pop can blasted with BB shots catches the sun and I’m back at the Glen Rock dump with you and our Daisy rifles, dungarees and Army canteens.   I carried mine on a camouflage belt, Swigged from it like a thirsty soldier.   We used to walk the railroad tracks with hobo sacks and Wonder Bread sandwiches.   People would mistake us for boys when we’d hide our long, […]

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Two Truths and a Lie

I.   Fucking faggots! and the blast of a car horn disrupted our good morning kiss   you pulled away   II.   I didn’t sleep with her (out of spite)   her body moves under silver sheets with the fluttering curvature of a nudibranch’s gelatinous spiral   III.   I love you     Sally Burnette has a degree with majors in Creative Writing and Literature from Eckerd College. […]

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Daria Modon Remembers Stonewall

It was worth it; in spite of broken ribs and teeth (they always smash my face), in spite of boots when they’d knocked me down, in spite of hospital and pain, stubble bristles through scabs and bruises on my face, long enough for the grey stripe in my hair to grow out again – I felt like a tiger, the night I roared from the Stonewall door.   You carry […]

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The Fujiwhara Effect

At twelve you were already beautiful, lightning storm striking the playground, girls scattering in your path, boys burnt where they stood. At thirty you were hurricane, your body a force I fell under, your voice one note from thunder, every morning I pressed the phone closer trying to ride the warm wave of your   tongue. I collected your words like fetishes, wore them under my clothes, envied your dresses, […]

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Farm Hands

Mornings I’d crawl down to listen to the boys feed the calves. John let them suck his fingers. He didn’t know they wanted milk. Josh ran. His mom called him rabbit. His wall jammed with ribbons. The boys slept in bunk beds. I heard them whisper about the west. Matthew dreamt of the other coast. He learned everything about surfing. I can see them older now, wading into the Pacific […]

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