Poems Oct. 23

NO ONE SHOULD WRITE POETRY: A collection by Charlotte Kidd

***

I didn’t know, yet, that good men are hard to find.

I hadn’t learned, yet, how big the city is, and how full of empty eyes.

I didn’t know about other souls, yet,

Couldn’t feel them where they sat, in quivering cages, waiting to be touched.

I was bored by talk of records and novels and television,

And wanted to be swept up at every moment.

I thought that I was strange

And that there was nobility in pushing someone away.

I’m sorry I hurt you.

I’m sorry I didn’t know, yet, the weight of doing it.

***

The city is empty tonight,

Full of empty eyes and empty talk,

Empty storefronts and empty bars.

But look! There are hands that hold each other; they are full.

There are ears that cup each other’s voices,

Surely they run over.

There are heads tucked close together, hunching over mingling breath

And they must be filled with a million thoughts

Or better, a rush of feeling, obscuring all thought.

Where can I find such an island of plenty,

I in my empty city?

***

Do I want to see you again?

I have nightmares where we make small talk.

In my waking fears, we meet each other at a party

And, denied privacy, speak of small things,

Our jobs, our weight, once-mutual friends,

Always feeling the words that aren’t said.

In my dreams, we sit in a room

With nothing but empty air between us,

Daring only say meaningless words,

Or worse, having nothing of meaning to dare.

And what if he comes with you, and stands beside you?

A person as natural to you now

As you once were to me?

You passed his secrets on to me

Smuggled gifts that you were unsure of giving

But trusted me with, in spite of yourself.

I wish I didn’t know them now,

As he protects you from me with his eyes

As he makes sure that I see him place his hand

On the small of your back.

Where did you go?

I felt you like no one before.

And if I never see you again

You’ll never be a stranger.

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