For Someone With Eyes Less Like Her Own
©1999 by Erin Elizabeth

Sometimes I think that if you wore your hair just a bit shorter,
shorn against the ear, and slightly behind, if your clothes
weren't quite so anxious to showcase the mountain roads
of your body, I would have written ballads, books of poetry
proclaiming aching ardor.  I would have mixed music, hoping
that all the reference wouldn't drown, wouldn't wash across
your white world as nothing more than Southern snow,
with its slim longevity, scant girth.

Instead there is the sound of your breath, its uneven accent,
underscoring the passionless Providence nights, when Zephyr
hurls himself against the windows and off again, when I flip
through fourteen channels, and find nothing to talk about in my letters
home.  I thumb through your promising verse, and all its attempts
to be a celestial abnormality, a subway to China. I restructure your name,
rubber-cement it across the letterhead of my evening, the margin of day.
I write in poor metaphor, in precarious catharsis, trying with tsunamis
of desperation to pen the walls of your room, the curtains pulled
in passive angles, the pillowcases creased and off-balance.

Sometimes I think that if you spoke with more authority and listened
to less Cohen, read less Sexton, I could snake into the valley
of your shoulderblades, push your reluctant hair behind the warm flesh
of your ear, and remind you that you are a constellation, a remarkable
piece of prose, if only to me.

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