Naked you are simple as one of your hands

A Poem by Anon ymous, Occupy Chicago Poetry

esta es la verdad: ¿cómo la mano
encaja en la mía, que mi piel se quema
de su tacto, la forma en que se pierden
en el otro y es el hogar.

The last table is taken. You nod when asked if I can join you.
No glance. No words. You are engrossed in a book of poems.
I am thinking of summer, blonde fields, the sun a burning ember
in a deep blue sky. My eyes drift up when you turn the page.
I count one, two, three times when the page is turned back to
re-read. I imagine you are sad. Sad in a weary it is time to wait
again way. My mind drifts to snatches of poetry memorized in
school. There’s a couple at the next table, in their sixties,
dressed like they are coming from church.

In love yet, they share their space in comfort. She lightly
touches his hand when he says her name. Smiles at me and I
know they believe we are together. I want to wish it true. Your
sleeves are pushed up, lips a thin brushstroke of red. I ask you
the time; an inane question. I am not going anywhere.
Don’t need to be anywhere. Don’t want to be anywhere but
here. All my destinations are unplanned, bent. The road
unmapped, filled with potholes, every turn is crooked and
sharp. We listen to the impatient shuffle of feet from
customers lined up, barely aware of the low murmur of
conversation. The background music is Dylan. I know what

I want the answer to be: You tell me how to catch fire, how to
hold the spark in the palm of my hand. You tell me how to live
with ashes and dust. How you want to teach me to rub the stain
from a crucible, polish it, hold it to flame until my breath turns
to smoke. You tell me everything I am thinking is true. That
aqua blue is the color of sincerity. That shyness is a refuge,
desolation a virtue. The café is empty. Street lamps flicker,
the city struggles to stay awake. We are unnoticed. I study the
curve of your mouth, want you to feel the weight of loss;
consider the heft of grief, its every angle and bend. I want to
know how it feels to get lost in the motion of you moving
within me; that feeling of being home.

this is truth: how your hand
fits in mine, how my skin burns
from your touch, how we get lost
in each other and it is home.

Unsent letter #12 [I still think of you when the world gets like this]

A Prose Poem by Anon ymous

Dear,

How you told me 11 is the number for clarity;
it’s morning, rivers and sleet. It’s anything
wet: sweat on a glass of beer, a splash from
fish, silver and sleek, It comes before blood,
before the impact of Agent Orange, before Dow
Chemical burns the flesh from children running,
before we learn how to swallow loss. You love
this town, its broken pieces laid out before this
Great Lake. The park by the canal is deserted,
gulls pick at tourist leftovers. I imagine you
painting, writing, listening to your favorite
playlist; firefly or lush or a Monsanto madness.
I watch the lights on the hill go out one by one
by one; count them until everything becomes clear.

Love,

Unsent letter #12 [I still think of you when the world gets like this]

Unsent letter #12 [I still think of you when the world gets like this]

A Prose Poem by Anon ymous

Dear,

How you told me 11 is the number for clarity;
it’s morning, rivers and sleet. It’s anything
wet: sweat on a glass of beer, a splash from
fish, silver and sleek, It comes before blood,
before the impact of Agent Orange, before Dow
Chemical burns the flesh from children running,
before we learn how to swallow loss. You love
this town, its broken pieces laid out before this
Great Lake. The park by the canal is deserted,
gulls pick at tourist leftovers. I imagine you
painting, writing, listening to your favorite
playlist; firefly or lush or a Monsanto madnes.
I watch the lights on the hill go out one by one
by one; count them until everything becomes clear.

Love

Unsent letter #15

A Prose Poem by Anon ymous

Dear,

I remember things not related to love: how one day
you took off your wedding band to see if he would
notice; how Francis is your favorite saint; how the
color orange tastes like grief. The days are starting
to get shorter; wish I was someplace deep and green.
Do you know I love your imperfections? Each one is
the perfect sin. There’s a moving van across the street;
a plane unzips the blue from the sky. The downtown
skyline is a layer of gray. The landscaping is all done;
the mallard and his mate have been gone for days.

Love,

Unsent letter #14

A Prose Poem by Anon ymous

Dear ,

By now, you’re over the ocean; there’s the rustle
of pages being turned, the flicker of dim lights.
The scent of the moon has followed you, clings
to your skin. Before you close your eyes, I’ll
tell you this: there’s nothing the air cannot hold;
the soft crescendo of leaves in winter, the splash
of a fish in summer, a grass-stained knee; even
this letter folded in your pocket. I’ll find your
favorite tree. Take a twig, soft brown and brittle,
put it on the window ledge; wait for a bird to pick
it up, fly it to you.

Love,

Unsent letter #13

A Prose Poem by Anon ymous

Dear,

I want to lie with you on a narrow bed
in a simple room; a plain white sheet,
blank walls. There’s one window; outside
a field, then woods. Your arms wrapped
lightly around me. Your blouse, sweater
and green skirt with the frayed hem hang
over the back of a rocking chair; bra and
panties on the floor at the foot of the bed.
There’s a bell, a quiet chime; it’s Sunday
morning. The slant of rain is illuminated
by the moon. We’re unafraid, marooned
as long as we choose; lost on this blue
quilted sea between dreams and sleep.

Love,

Unsent letter #12 [I still think of you when the world gets like this]

A Prose Poem by Anon ymous

Dear,

How you told me 11 is the number for clarity;
it’s morning, rivers and sleet. It’s anything
wet: sweat on a glass of beer, a splash from
fish, silver and sleek, It comes before blood,
before we learn how to swallow loss. You love
this town, its broken pieces laid out before this
Great Lake. The park by the canal is deserted,
gulls pick at tourist leftovers. I imagine you
painting, writing, listening to your favorite
playlist; firefly or lush. I watch the lights on
the hill go out one by one by one; count them
until everything becomes clear.

Love,

Unsent Letter #8

A Prose Poem by Anon ymous

Dear,

Remember the night we stole your father’s car? The halo-glow of the porch light illuminated our crime. You slid across the long bench seat, told me to drive. Drive to nowhere; drive over the edge of the earth; watch the look on God’s face as we crack the horizon. I remember crickets singing louder the further we went; the hum of wind through wing windows. There was clean static from AM radio; your hand on mine. I wake, three four five times a night and you’re invisible; a shadow; a heart-shaped moth watching over me as I fall to sleep.

Love,

Unsent Letter #4

A Prose Poem by Anon ymous

Dear ,

I think about carefully writing letters then leaving them in random places:

Dear Subway Passenger,
Dear Passer-By,

Let me tell you about my lover.
She’s beautiful in that way sadness has of rounding out edges.
She likes to go barefoot; better to feel the earth tremble, she says.
She worries about the sun when it rains,
Likes to sit in her grandmother’s chair; best seat in the house when it thunders.
She believes in long good-byes and wide-open spaces. Last thing she told me was how words
seem to come alive when written by hand.

Love,

Unsent Letter #1

A Prose Poem by Anonymous

Dear ,

There’s a mallard and his mate outside my window. The rose bushes have been uprooted, ready to be replaced. Across the street the police are in the process of arresting a woman. Her husband [boyfriend] leans against the building like he’s seen it all before. It’s difficult. I think I’m ruined. I’ll take my chances in slivers; not brave enough to flat out ask and too smart [afraid] to blow it all by being honest. If you were here I couldn’t fake it. But you’re not. You’re a handwritten letter; an untold story. Tomorrow, the landscapers will be back.

Love,

Unsent letter #10

A Prose Poem by Anon ymous

I want you to forget you love me. Forget how trees scallop the sky, the way the horizon shuns the stars. I want you to bury the words you gave to me. The ones that belong to the soft rush of wind through pussy willows. Pack away the quiet adjectives you use to describe the sound of morning; forget it all. I’ll write you from another continent, bare and thirsty words; underfed and worthless words. I’ll write of broken promises; made up prayers from lost lovers. I’ll tell you about paper wings, ashes; a wet moon awash on the shore; the mutations Monsanto caused the young ones, how they will never reach out with arms, feel with fingers, know the flexibility of hands.

Unsent Letter #15

A Prose Poem by Anon ymous

I remember things not related to love: how one day you took off your wedding band to see if he would notice; how Francis is your favorite saint; how the color orange tastes like grief. The days are starting to get shorter; wish I was someplace deep and green. Do you know I love your imperfections? Each one is the perfect sin. There’s a moving van across the street; a plane unzips the blue from the sky. The downtown skyline is a layer of gray. The landscaping is all done; the mallard and his mate have been gone for days.

From the chapbook, Dead Letter Office, published by Rain Dog Press

Unsent letter #12 [I still think of you when the world gets like this]

A Prose Poem by Anon ymous

How you told me 11 is the number for clarity; it’s morning, rivers and sleet. It’s anything wet: sweat on a glass of beer, a splash from fish, silver and sleek, It comes before blood, before we learn how to swallow loss. You love this town, its broken pieces laid out before this Great Lake. The park by the canal is deserted, gulls pick at tourist leftovers. I imagine you painting, writing, listening to your favorite playlist; firefly or lush. I watch the lights on the hill go out one by one by one; count them until everything becomes clear.

From the chapbook Dead Letter Office
Rain Dog Press

Unsent letter #12 [I still think of you when the world gets like this]

A Prose Poem by Anon ymous

How you told me 11 is the number for clarity; it’s morning, rivers and sleet. It’s anything wet: sweat on a glass of beer, a splash from fish, silver and sleek, It comes before blood, before we learn how to swallow loss. You love this town, its broken pieces laid out before this Great Lake. The park by the canal is deserted, gulls pick at tourist leftovers. I imagine you painting, writing, listening to your favorite playlist; firefly or lush. I watch the lights on the hill go out one by one by one; count them until everything becomes clear.

Unsent Letter #9

A Prose Poem by Anon ymous

Not sure what is left to write. I’ve told you about the birds that nest in winter; the simple pearl of water that glides down my window; an unpainted bridge over Lester Park Creek that reminds me of that summer. We cannot forget what we don’t remember; cannot let it go again. Next time will be forever. This morning the moon was a dim light wrapped in gauze. We are separated; not by distance, not time but circumstance. We will carry each other; two butterflies frozen still on pink petals. Handwritten notes folded in our pockets; everything we’ll ever need.

Dream Song 321

A Prose Poem by Anon ymous

I miss dial tones, the last echo of voice as the line hums. I miss the tactile sensation of maps; creases and folds that mark our progress [our regression], where we have been [where we wish to go]. If you were French I would kiss your neck, feel the tumble of leaves, watch as they flutter to the ground [you are freckled]. If you were German I would run my palm over your calf; watch you Dietrich your way down Kurfurstendamm. [You are a day that stirs]. Listen: the steady ring of a telephone [anticipation]; we’re back on dry land.

Dream Song 319

A Poem by Anon ymous

You like to say the wind has special powers; to help us remember, to make us forget. [I hustled a waitress once, on her break]. You write evasions and koans, call them haiku: no/still no/good. Outside my window the skyline slants; grey meets grey meets red blends into a leaf-less tree [I once practiced suicide with an unloaded gun]. Your bare feet are immune to gravel, your face sun-reddened, dress wet; [I remember the first and last time I was drunk] fall asleep with the light on. I will dream of songs with no words; a funeral procession through cornfields.

Dream Song 312

A Poem by anon ymous

I rely on words from the dead, waste my breath on a mirage; walk to the falls, wait for the sun to mist. I’m drawn to water; a common fetish of a melancholy man. Someone plays violin [Brahms, Schoenberg?] keeps a cat on a leash. This isn’t me under this bridge [it’s my good side] wishing on a ghost, hot cup of coffee [black] and a last chance. I am mechanical, thin; birds circle, a dog barks and there I am [again]: in a king bed, blinds drawn, an unexpected rain; the wet shell of another day blows to pieces.

Dream Slong 229

A Poem by Anon ymojus

The past is a line in the sand; a naked bulb swinging in an empty hall; the taste of your skin when it rains. Sometimes, I pretend to be asleep, eyes closed; the scratch of time cold on my chest. I hear the low whine of a train approaching; the stifled breath of desire; your hand touches mine. I am cloud-sopped, heaven-proof. I will love you when the world is not paying attention; when it turns its eye to the flight of a bird; its ear to the sound of a branch as it snaps in this February wind.