Love Poem Over a Pot of Boiling Soup

Nothing more human than the fall, its foolish hall of mirrors—I leave
class, note the early drop of dusk, the lonely click and lovely clack
of my own two heels on blacktop, ah, the smell of wood smoke brings me back

to what? In this fall is the last, and in the last, the one before, me, inhaling
wood smoke, wanting for the past when I was wanting for the past, sure
that in that want there’s something more—yearning for a yearning, yearning

for its own dumb sake. My brain says You’re Alone, nostalgia is
a fake: blank parody. A mask without the eyes: Emily, disguised
in meaning, more than just herself; she stops, inhales the ghost

of some poor smoking oak, recalls last year, the distant burn of other fires…
and driving home, I’ll note the harvest moon above the criss-crossed wires,
rising… The world’s a loaded code. And fuck this stupid duty, my brain’s

nimble fingers, how they strip search every symbol, constantly
at work. My brain is a jerk. I want beauty for its own sake, extreme
unction of the garlic topped in oil, roasted in its paper skin, the function,

indispensable, of chicken bones, summer’s final split tomato,
its jack-o-lantern grin—the sin of right-this-moment, how I want you
all the time, lift my hair and kiss the hackles of my neck, already risen

at your touch, touch me there and there and there, I can never have too much.

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About evanduyne

I'm assistant professor of writing at Stockton University, where I'm also affiliated faculty in the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program. I work on Sylvia Plath, contingent faculty, and creative writing around trauma and domestic violence.
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