I remember thinking how your heart
was getting tangled with Czech and how
vines overtake a wall.
I remember the frustrated locals
reproved in broken English:
“We must not anger. We must make love.”
And how your heart—bruised but adored—
made so much love in those months:
love and love and love and love.
For more poems and stories, go to jackieleasommers.com/writer.
Image credit: Erica Murriel Davis
The earth, a platform
beneath her sad feet.
The shadows, reminders
that light is nearby.
Seventeen years of
heroes and lovers
was only ever Kansas.
You, the summer tornado
that ripped open her heart
to the fearsome colors.
She walks the cobbled streets,
thinking of Poe, of Nevermore,
and though he is beside her,
they are not together now.
He takes her hand,
helps her to sit, frees
the guitar and begins to sing.
It brings her back from silence,
from the dark places in which
the mind loves and hates to rest.
The song is the best rescue
this armorless knight can attempt.
When nerves cancelled my plans,
I imagined that another, separate me
made the drive to St. Paul.
My other me entered the room with the
the more-important-than-things-really-are candles.
My other me was confident; her cheeks were flushed.
She made conversation; she made you laugh.
Maybe she even found out the truth,
knows things now that this me doesn’t.
And this me resents her surety, is angry
that she didn’t take the chance, take the drive,
take the hand of the boy in St. Paul
instead of the pen to write this jealous poem.
She likes best to sit on
a carpet of yellow flowers
and think about physics,
the force that ties her
to this golden field,
the force that suspends
the golden sun,
the distance between them
that is almost just right.
Most are so stoic,
pinned as they are to the wall
like moths on a board.
Then there are the wild ones,
with eyes that have gone mad
in the years of retirement after
a lifetime of going in circles.
FARMER IN THE DELL
I have often wondered about
that noble, gutsy cheddar
that dared to stand alone.
You know it would have never worked.
Still, you remember his wild eyes
the night he showed you London
in a way you’d never seen.
The stars meant things to him,
especially the second to the right.
And you wanted him to love you
enough to leave, but you didn’t
love him enough
The ground feels cold—
beneath your quiet feet.
Wringing the Rubik’s cube for a solution,
gentle skill reconciles nine tiny blue squares to become a face
segregated from the greens, reds, and yellows.
Your nimble fingers work salvation into the block
then offer it to me, a finished product fallen to my lap.
Music plays, people talk, we tell stories—life continues—
as I confuse the cube into madness and return it again.