June 10, 2009

Letter to Pris

by Scott Owens

Sara and Norman aren’t gone, of course.
They can never be gone completely.
When I walk alone under a waxing moon,
Sara is there, her hand in my back pocket.
When you try to rise, morning’s drowse
stretched across your eyes, Norman
is there, pulling you back, wanting, needing.
When I hide my head beneath the covers,
making love until there’s nothing left,
I know that Sara and Norman are there.
When you see the girls in cropped tops
and hip-huggers, long hair and strategically
placed tattoos, all breasts and thighs,
like modern-day fertility goddesses,
creating the world in their own image,
you know that Sara is there.
When I answer the alarm and press
my slacks and drive to work
in a hurry and stay late and worry
over every detail, I know that Norman
has come back without Sara this time.
When I hear from another room
that something in the voice of a man
in love, quiet murmur of assent,
hum of appreciation, ur-language of love,
I know that Norman has found
at least some temporary peace,
and even my own raging stops a moment,
stands still in the possibility of love.
Today, in the garden, Peruvian lilies
opened their petaled throats, and I swear
I heard Sara’s voice singing
We may never pass this way again.
What else could I do but listen and kneel down
and cry over things that pass and all
the things we know will last forever?

*Scott Owens is co-editor of Wild Goose Poetry Review. He teaches creative writing at Catawba Valley Community College.


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