Monday, April 12, 2010

poem 4, Isabel

I heard her voice today
subdued and held in balance
just above the hum of audible conversation,
rising and falling, tonal and
incomprehensible, like overhearing the
television from the next room.
I heard her voice and involuntarily
inclined my head, straining to catch
a word, a phrase, leaning to learn
a portion of the dialogue,
though it may have been trivial.

Now flashes of her filter through my
thoughts like things stuck in cobwebs.
Vain imaginations, lined up in the
projector of my mind—moments of an
exchange, an expression, a lazy afternoon,
a disarming smile—they swim around in
my stomach, swirling and churning and taking
up all the space. Concentrating seems
absurd, focusing ineffectual.

In manageable distraction I exist
in a wavering place, forced into thoughts
of action by my restlessness—for fantasies
grow old and fresh anticipation stales
without resolve. I want to hear that voice,
speaking to me. Only her unwillingness—
not my fear, nor the furious butterflies, nor
my own stubborn propriety—should deter
me from my mission. And yet her voice,
languid, floating, dreamlike in my memory...
a first time only happens once.

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