Tocsin and Ode to Ex-boyfriends
The autumn starts, and winter’s soon to come.
The aging colors blood each bush, each tree
will vein its leaves to gold. The drum
of time and cold beats on, and plays for me
the thrum of passing spells. To ring the bells –
of birth, of growing up, of spreading out –
will sound our days out loud. And when life tells
us to, we’ll stop, all tolled. We know how
to measure days and space, record the low
sweet music rounding notes in sharp relief.
But listen to it now, because the snow
will cover us. The autumn is so brief.
We may get lost in chorus or in rifts;
we’ll dance before we’re covered in the drifts.
Ode to Ex-boyfriends
It’s impossible to rhapsodize
a grabby boy who fumbled
me through a syllabus of nuts
and bolts, who broke my lollipop
defense, or one who smoked a spliff
on the toilet while I rinsed
splotches from my underwear.
They all made that flip-flop
in my belly, at first.
And there were days in the park.
Sometimes a lack of function serves
its own cocktail with a twist,
sour to undo the illusion of love.
Doors creaked between us.
You’d sing on one side, cooking
for an audience of dishtowels and spatulas, slapping
them down for applause.
We made love as the fan
whirred, the sound
whispered like our breathing.
Over break we ate Thanksgiving
leftovers, your dad’s stuffing
and your mom’s pills,
sloshed on your waterbed
for five slow days.
Your head bobbed like a party
balloon, a swollen red
untethered, then deflating
into a wrinkled rubber sack.
You clutched me all the way back to school.
Blythe Boyer lives and writes in Philadelphia, PA. She likes to gather the emotional and historical content that we might otherwise discard—lost pieces of our daily lives—and find a way to puzzle it all together. Her poetry has appeared in Chronogram, and she is working on her MFA from Rosemont College.
Photo "Rocky Snow" by Bella Dante.
Poems Copyright © 2006 Blythe Boyer. All rights reserved.
Photo Copyright © 2006 Bella Dante. All rights reserved.