A different you. Rittenhouse Square.
Picked a daisy; pushed it through
a buttonhole. Blue coat. February
weather. You were glacial.
Hands froze to your collar. You.
Detached. Contract like veins.
A plural possessive. On our couch.
Petals wilting in waterless bottles. You
were drunk. Your father’s birthday. No
cake. Just candles. Listen to Dead
Flowers; turnover like vinyl in my sleep.
A coffee cup found in the grass.
Overtaken. High tides and ragweed. Your
sewing machine hums unfamiliar songs. My
car. Picture of Provincetown sewn into hems.
Poems in spilled wine and broken dishes.
A borrowed pickup truck. Thirty three.
I had already been to Stillwater. Camped
in the shadow of St. Louis. Their diamond
anniversary. We grow, contract. Expand.
Returned my heart to the strip mines. She
dated flea markets and auctions.
A cancer left nothing but an empty bed.
A pigeon feather. Fire escapes into blind alleys.
Roses in a dumpster. Broken vase smashed
into fake diamonds. Iceless fingers. Muzzle flash.
We got quiet. Like snow still falling. I’m awake.
It’s just coffee. Blood dries like ink. Contract.
A different you.
Jim Warner’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in various journals including The North American Review, [PANK] Magazine, Five Quarterly, The Minnesota Review, and is the author of two collections Too Bad It’s Poetry and
Social Studies(PaperKite Press). Currently, Jim is the Managing Editor of Quiddity housed at Benedictine University in Springfield, IL and writes the weekly column “Best Worst Year” for Sundog Lit.