Melancholy Hyperbole

Poetry about longing.

The Game of Whisper Down the Lane

Listen with your grownup ears. The night may speak to you with silence. The silence of leaves turning. Of a spider’s patience. Silence abiding. The moon shrugs off its silver stole, bright paradigm to let it go— loss, dependence, fear—to take the stars as your guide, the cataclysmic births and deaths, the shy-of-everlasting light, the fatal strength to face the end. We’ve changed since we were children. How many faces […]

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All Hallows

All Hallows   The air smells black, like burnt matches, like candlewicks. The moon a polished silver doorknob. It’s bitter, a chocolate night. We dance along the street like fallen leaves. Whispers spark and snap from hollow trees. We hear a sound like seeds snickering in the dry heart of a gourd, too late sense that some monstrous thing has taken form and comes clattering behind. From dreams I know […]

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Elizabeth

Old Cemetery, Owensville, Ohio I said good morning to her every day on my way to school. The rain-flattened engraving kept a century’s secret, on a headstone leaning after too many Midwestern winters. I pretended to know her: “wife of ______”, though she’d long since sifted down to dust and bones beneath the roots of our village. I invented her tragic death, looked for signs, willed her to haunt me. […]

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World Enough, And Time

She’s closed the door of her room today, which means you’re being tested. Don’t call through the door, don’t seek to enter by action, word, or thought, the three intentions necessary for sin. Or sit outside and wait; she hates that, tells you you’re a lost puppy. The language you must use evokes intentionality but doesn’t make a specific claim. The steps you take, quietly down the hall, argue you […]

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Theory of Entanglement

You cast love spells like an old hand, contrivances arranged like constellations. But we are unthinkably distant, far as the Milky Way, and besides, you never leave your number. Our particles separated by light-years. Yet theories state we might appear instantaneously connected. It’s called general relativity, and it preserves the cosmos. But like light, it’s got secret curvature, like you telling me you love me. To verify a theory of […]

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Traveling Silences

How silence attacks— like a tsunami of empty boxes within boxes without the boxes, an empty house we’ve lived in for years. What our life becomes without us in it is a foreign country with strange customs for tipping. We pack for the trip to San Sombrero by not saying what we pretend to feel, your face no longer in my mind. When distance arrives, like air surrounding air suffocating […]

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Numbers Game

We thought we could pool our loneliness— mine plus yours, addition thus becoming division of emptiness. But ten years later, our handshake deal isn’t enough; zero divided by any number still equals zero. The house suffers our pitiless geometry. We burrow into our separate cells. In acute silence grudges multiply like mice. This is a subtraction that compounds daily. We never mastered that higher branch of mathematics that could make […]

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Poppet Piracy

The cost of keeping you, my love, is high. Blue candles worn to nubs, raven-throated nights of chanting, vats of honey to swim your name in are the least of it.   To your symbol and substitute, carved poppet, blonde wool wound round waxen neck, I address my prayers and pleas. Each time you falter, your tiny twin, lumpen manikin, assures your return, as long as the levy’s paid.   […]

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Letters to Minnehaha Creek: IV.

Pass the morass of Seagram’s boxes, the red door of Powderhorn Park Association. Pass the squirrels hiding acorns in the knots of bare branches. Pass absence. How many miles have you gone? We walked 5,000 on this webbed concrete. Pass the chimes, and the plants pressed against the windows looking for the sun. The Southside Pride paper waits on the steps of the empty condo. Cut through McRae Park, pass […]

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Temporary Theme

Though we will not introduce themes regularly, today is October 1st which to us means one thing: Halloween. We are formally inviting our readers to submit their autumn and/or Halloween themed poetry to us throughout the month. The deadline for this theme is October 25th so that we can post all accepted submissions by the end of the month. Extra brownie points if you include the element of longing, which […]

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