It's just poetry, it won't bite


04.27.17 Posted in today's words by

Jaclyn Burr’s most recent poem to appear here was “Brown Eyes” (February 2017)

By Jaclyn Burr

Exhaling on your shoulder
I turn to watch your face,
grazing black sand
on the ridge of your bronze cheek.
Your black-coffee eyes stare at barren walls,
lost in contemplation.
When I ask what you are thinking,
you always answer, “nothing”
but I’ll never
believe you.

Were you thinking back to when we drove
across the golden country?
You vowed to find a “cleaner” bathroom
than that tired prairie station,
until I laughingly assured you,
I would be just fine.

Were you thinking of your answer when
I asked you why you tickle me?
You said you hoped my thundering laugh
might send the weight of my mom’s sickness
fluttering away, if only for a moment.

Were you thinking of the tree
that had you lost in contemplation?
I lost myself in observation
as you gently snapped apart the leaf,
just to smell the sap.

Were you thinking that you treasure silence,
peaceful and serene?
Or do you dread that stillness
on both ends of the phone?
Sometimes there are no mending words—
life’s chisel strikes too deep.

Were you thinking of the things we said
in last night’s hot despair?
That thing I said I didn’t mean
still lingered your mind,
as you clung to me that morning,
hoping to erase the night.

Were you thinking of that wistful day
you took me to the park?
The smell of autumn in the air,
the taste of cider on my tongue,
your blindfold covering my eyes
to all that was to come.

Were you thinking that you love me,
with my light, and all my darkness?
Or thinking of your own faint fear,
a secret locked in you:
that you’ll never love me
the way that I love you?

I was just thinking
I love the way
I’ll never know
what you were thinking.

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