April 21, 2015

Whenever Loneliness Comes Back. {Poem}


Whenever loneliness comes back,

like weeds and other perennials, reveals
her yellow petals
from inside my chest, I feel her––
she is unmistakeable—
the smell of rain on cement—
and I recognize her like an old friend
poking through sidewalks:
chalk dust and worn out denim;
stale coffee and gasoline;
empty corridors and a sad harmonica––loyally
awaiting my return:
in hot baths
up to my chin; in my car
winding down cold and familiar roads
at dusk;
in steaming cups of tea; in heartbreak; in
Sunday afternoons; in music
from long ago: the silence after the party.
Sounding a lot like my voice cracking
the dark in two,
telling me things only I know are true;
soaking my pillow with tears.

I recognize loneliness so well
I even saw her in you:
floating across the country
like dandelion fuzz
on a breeze blowing in from the west: old dreams
enveloping me
in nostalgia and
quiet, melancholy music—the bare wires and raw
nerve endings, the realness
of your words, secrets I recognized as my own:
our separate stories lived together, somehow.
It was as if we had always been lovers.

Sometimes I wonder if it’s you that I miss,
or if it’s just a companion for my aloneness—
your coyote hymn that said,
I’m with you in this seclusion:
two song dogs exchanging glances
on a diverging path
overgrown with yellow flowers.


Author: Ashley Laframboise

Editor: Caroline Beaton

Photo: Flickr

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