Sitting With Blank Paper at 12:07 A.M.


By Ricki Mandeville

My metaphors
would not be lovely now anyway.
If it rained,
I would write only it rains.
Birds on a wire would not be
sleek black knots tied at intervals
across the sky.

Having lost my skill as a poet,
I cannot chronicle my midnights:
the purgatory of your company,
the crazed china figurine of a wife
vague shadows that rise from the corners.

I cannot describe the ghostly stain
of your face in the mirror,
dark rustle of wings from the eaves,
the slight salt of starlight in the street,
nor, a mile away, a sea drowning the moon.

Stripped of my words I cannot explain
why I keep remembering
the length of your shadow,
joined to mine by a slant of sun
as we walked the hills just last October
in a dry yellow rain of leaves.

Previously appeared in Pea River Journal

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