Jamaal As Target Ad

Since what ends up as fable so often starts
in a rapture, since my cat performs a Jubilate

Agno as I lay my son to sleep, since Venus
shines hot and distant in the distance of his nightly window,

moving; not twinkling: distant
fireball—ok, understand, I’m using distant

here to mean more than its flat twin lines, I’m wanting it
to discourse on its own, I’m wanting

its echos, its hall of mirrors, I’m wanting it to self-immolate, burn
the motherfucker to the ground, please, please, close the distance

between the rapture and the rapture’s distance: vamoose.

I cannot get the phrase I do so love you
from my head, or into this poem—I do so

love you, I hear, stalking the halls, stacking
the dishes. Woolfian. Circular. Infantile. Assonant.

All those hard Ks stacked. Rapturous. Some
little. Some love. Some language. I do. You do. I do so. Ach.

Do. It’s true: every night, the morning star comes out, and I am
in a rapture over you & you: you two. Tarfia. Jamaal. This single

posted Facebook pic. This clue: he’s perched on a couch, back-lit. Who knew

this couch—any couch!?—could couch such light, could clutch
such plush still life, such luscious thunderclaps, such snapshots, picture

perfect? The camera used to be a crapshoot. Now, we filter out
the crap. We filter in the light you never knew

was there—Vesuvian, this light!—a crater, shocked, a man
preserved, it holds you up, it keeps you in your place, surrounds

your light, sheds light you didn’t know
you had around a chic loft you dreamt up sometime back

in 1995—here, the Turkish rug with braided fringe, the inlay
grins, the white threads gleam, here, the hardwood floor

exalted in its best imitation of a hardwood floor, there
the wainscoting, existing independent of one’s knowledge

of the word wainscoting—all by itself! Just like that! An image
able to survive free of naming, free of language, free and full

with light, light, light in practical danger of becoming a draft
of a poem about Monet’s Water Lilies also from 1995, that someone

Kobe!’d into the wire mesh waste bin that does not appear
in this pic, Insta, edged out, instead, of course, as a matter

of lucidity and hot-white fact, by a shelf of exquisitely chosen,
exquisitely loved books: Tolstoy, Baldwin, Plath. And centered

like math: Jamaal, beloved, be-laughing, be-snapped, we presume
by the woman with the green eyes, the gold ring in her nose.

Distant poets. Distant planets. Pin-up lives. My life—your life—
in all its prose: at least six fat fruit flies going ham on the dried

up bbq sauce on the plate stacked on the five other plates stacked
in the leaky sink in the house I rent in my hometown with the vinyl

siding. And meanwhile, my son sleeps beneath Venus–
and meanwhile, I’m riding the horse of this otherness

out into an open field of glamours I have yet to meet
and meanwhile, Tarfia’s doing the same, as she vacuums

the brand-new paisley print rug from Target with a pleasant, seamless hum.


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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One Response to Jamaal As Target Ad

  1. edigiorgio says:

    Love the allusions throughout and especially at the end. ❤

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