Saturday, November 03, 2007

under the wire

Love Poem

I know the line breaks are inconsistent, and mostly I just don't like this as it is now (mostly because I whipped it out last minute for the mag) but any feedback is appreciated. It'll look quite different later.


I printed your photo four,

Five times

Darkroom shadows yawning black

Redlight peeking over my shoulders

You drifted up to me in the fixer

Shining eyes.

I thought the composition was pretty good, but I heard them whisper:

“Her photos are only good because he loves her.”

Hey now. It’s not that simple

In fact, that night some ugly sounds fell from our mouths

Sank, and splat! The only way ugly sounds can.

Spitting, gagging, tongue checking the gaps in our teeth for a word,

Something else we might hurl.


I watched your neck, your shoulders

Tattoo shadows on the wall behind you.

But you’re too soft to leave marks. I knew this.


Looked at me

Made me feel shame, know wrong

That is the precise sensation of scooping those glops and swallowing them again as thick hot sticks the throat.

But this I couldn’t develop.

Maybe I’d do best pointing out his nose. It’s really big.

The sun freckles it in June, July, August. He comes home from summer,

Comes home to my sheets

The tip of his nose nuzzles, nudges the blush into my cheeks.

“You grew freckles.”

His face holds mine

His cheeks smooth my forehead, ears, push my eyebrows into a mess

Hold me, hold me

I close my


Five fingertips,

Soft pads trace lines in my soft neck nape

Palm cradling my head

You could play me, rhapsodize my skin, convince me of everything you aren’t

But you’re no symphony

You are laughter



“Are you jealous my lashes are longer than yours?”


When they flake off on your cheeks,

I corral them with the edge of my fingernail

Pinch the small, dark nymphs, and

Make wishes

Seven today.

One for world peace, because if you have seven wishes and don’t spend one on that, you’re a jerk.

Another for my grandpa, for his health.

I’d like to pull all A’s this semester

I hope tomorrow will be a beautiful day.

I want to go back to Japan sometime

It’d be cool to win a Hopwood.

I want you to look at me, that way, with your eyes, forever.


Nami said...

Hey Jenny,
I really like the way this flows. It's got a halting, sort of cardiac rhythm to this that's really effective. I'm sure I'm confused about this just because of the line breaks, but is there a separation between the section about the girl, and the one about the guy?

"again as thick hot sticks the throat" ---> That bit I couldn't quite figure out. Consider revising?

The ending with the wishes are a little bit inconsistent with the rest of the piece, somehow, but eh, it's poetic license and it sounds alright.

Again, I read this over, and love-love the rhythm and imagery.

Ankit said...

I have more of an issue with your punctuation than the line breaks, personally--especially the eyes at the beginning. Unless that's the title. I couldn't quite tell.

I agree with nami on the "again as thick hot sticks the throat" line...that phrase just doesn't make any sense. I like the wishes, though. One thing I didn't get was "look at me, that way,..." What's the that referring to? As far as I can tell, there's no real description of how the speaker is being looked at by that part.

Nami said...

I actually really like that last line. Maybe it's just a girl thing that I totally understand it, but of the ending, I like that line best.

Rachel B said...

I also really like the last line, however, I agree with Ankit in that there should be some mention of the way the speaker is being looked at if she is going to say "I want you to look at me, that way"