Melancholy Hyperbole

Poetry about longing.

Tag Archive for ‘poem’

My Parade

My Parade I remember that Thanksgiving day winter-white dress, so short with its fur edging and ties with fur balls at the ends. I twirled them in tandem, waiting to watch the parade pass by from our apartment window.   I remember my father’s conflicted face as he laughed at my finery while my mother lay still and silent in a darkened room, waiting for the pain to pass along […]

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Awakening to Mourning

Awakening to Mourning   “There’s nothing good about goodnight when it means goodbye.” ― Jeff Thomas Dad worked at the Atlantic-Richfield refinery in Port Arthur, Texas. On the morning of August 16th, 1963, when I was thirteen, he left for work before I awoke. I never saw him again, except in photographs and memories. Neither of us knew that last “good-night” was our last. There was an explosion at the […]

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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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