Sunday, June 20, 2021


It’s where the words that matter fall.
Cursive enigmas and incomplete thoughts
simply will not wait,
will not be consigned to a slush pile
of unsolicited thought.
They demand hearing.
Notations about doctors’ appointments
and phone numbers attached to no one
lie on top of the perfect response
to your wife as to why you do indeed “get it.”

A story idea—
a mad Russian falls in love
with a nun whose mother practices Wicca—
lurks beneath your latest poem:
I was waiting
for your hair
and your shadow
to fall
across my chest
like a sunset
at the base
of Kilimanjaro.

And then there are the lost moments,
the random phrases that were apparently your life
last year or the year before,
all rendered in blue and black ink
pressed into the yellowed page:

lily of the valley
            Jane S.
            sunflower thankfulness
            paraffin wax
            Seinfeld tonight
            say nothing

You take out a library book by Kafka.
That night, insomnia turns the pages
until you see there’s always hope
scrawled near a paragraph indentation.
You close the book and sleep,
dreaming that life is a long, empty column
waiting to be filled.

~William Hammett

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