Melancholy Hyperbole

Poetry about longing.


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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Everything that Rises

At the end of the day, Z and I talk about sand: how it took the house in Eternal Sunshine. How the two boys eye each other in Bad Education. Our crush on Gael Garcia Bernal. Z suggests, “The Life You Save May Be Your Own.” I ask about “Everything That Rises Must Converge.” A tiny car parks outside. Death Trap, my dad would have said. Z’s friends ask about […]

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When I Won’t Know You

In Berkeley, there are signs for a psychic fair. You want to stop and while I’ve sworn them off, I secretly fear we might end then, when someone says we’re through. But you can’t find a parking spot so while you circle the block I go in to have my aura cleaned. Students murmur I’m red or blue light, circling their hands around my head. When you finally arrive, we […]

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Mauve and Vermillion

Mauve   Mauve pale bruised purple lips of a girl loved too well, the cold flush of an eggplant’s flesh; the sultry bubble slow and breathy filtering through the room.   It is the slick taste of her lipstick. Wine, clotted with tannins, hours after. The peace a mouth settles into after sex. She has become them: the blinds’ soft fingertips crafting maps of the world, wanting to touch every […]

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For Kate, Always

Our Chaucer, I think, would have sighed. He would have assured us, shaking his sorrowful head, That day the solar system married us Whether we knew it or not –Ted Hughes   Now that we spent an afternoon with Crow. Now in the breadth of highway between us. Now after your presented death and my Wide like a canyon, like the end Of God’s whip, I can appreciate Our limestone. […]

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Ready or Not

I thought I was ready, bread rising above The bowl ready, Like Christmas-for-a-five-year-old ready. Like I’m too young to be a widow ready.   I didn’t know cell phones and secrets And laptops and lying, or Couldn’t imagine hunter and prey. Stop right here. Just picture my Innocence.   I wrote my description and then I got mail. I was fresh paint, not yet dry. He said I was […]

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If you had been my online lover,

I could not have wooed you as I did. I would not have written letters in midnight blue ink on deckle edged paper,   carefully considered words from my attic of endearments reminiscent of a monogrammed hankie, a pressed carnation, whiff of cologne.   Your responses inspired me to write poems: images of holding hands across miles of longing. You write as you speak: witty, debonair. The baritone of your […]

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Oh goodness

The sea is so vast I feel helpless when your voice comes mangled through my cheap speakers. I press pause because I hear something pained and honest in it that our years of pixelated letters failed to transmit. It’s like you knew about the secret poem I wrote last month about wanting to drink coffee with you and forgetting your accent. My voice is present for you through my poetry. […]

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This Was Once a Love Poem

Go on; enjoy yourself. I’m not returning home this winter. I don’t want to make the mistake of another year, Missouri a long way off, full of superstition, omens, and witch’s meat. I’ll miss the ripeness of soil, the grazing river, wild turkeys, possums in the abandoned car, the red fox living beneath the house, voles camped in the hills. Some things need endings more than others, superstition a heavy […]

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