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POEM: by any other name

by any other name

the grass was southern, green in the way
the grass gets when it’s always hot and humid
green like the promise of huckleberry and locusts
we sat on the bank of a slow-moving stream
the baby’s stroller a few feet away
the baby himself on the blanket between us
cooing and playing with first your fingers, then mine
you used to wear lipstick sometimes
along with your funky retro glasses
you’d just cut your hair short, too
I was into sandals by this time, having
discovered them in the desert a few years before
did we bring snacks? probably not
I don’t remember ever thinking of things
lasting long enough for either of us to get hungry
for anything but one another
even though we had hours and hours when
nobody was wondering where we were
still, we approached every meeting like a secret mission
one from which return was unlikely, and for which
no continuation seemed possible
this message will self-destruct in five seconds
sometimes we barely touched, maybe
brushing fingers on the stroller handle
or bumping shoulders in that way people do
when they’re watching something else
but thinking only of one another
I’m not sure why I’m remembering this now
this week you’ve been on my mind
today I opened the English version
of a popular French novel to discover
the translator has your name
you’re on your fourth last name
between us we’ve had seven
which is, I think anyone would agree, quite a few
how tragic that in all those renamings
we never managed to settle on the same one

/ / /

Jason Crane
22 January 2015
Oak Street

Published in My poems Poetry


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