Tuesday, November 13, 2012

poem envy: Kimberly Kaye

Still one of the best poems I've ever read. Halts me every time.

"Unsaid, While You Were Angrily Cleaning Up Dinner"
by Kimberly Kaye

I'm sorry I don't save words for you. I try to,
each morning, plug up and reserve something.
Mostly by day's end the best drain out.
The first of the day are barely worth speaking.
I croak them to baristas and doormen,
to women whose purses take up entire train seats;
sometimes, I practice on bosses.
Then "love" goes to my father, and "why" flies to my mother,
and expletives dart to tourists who halt mid-step
on the sidewalk. Loosed by noon,
phrases marked yours slide by. That joke.
That compliment. That piece of honesty.
They slip into the ears of others and I don't stop them.
Sometimes I pull a few to the side,
apples at the weigh station, perfect pearls for stringing,
but God, they age so quickly.
I wish they weren't so limp when handed over.
And of course the best ones--
the things I mean, things you need, the way I mean to say them--
struggle to survive in open air.
Written down on paper they seem trite. Which is best,
since I'd feather you in Post-It notes otherwise.
So read them in my face. Study the way I slip a finger in your palm
and trace avenues there.
Listen how I ask for nothing.
Let an egg, broken in a pan and poached in oil for you, speak.


Anonymous said...


anita said...

you know it's good when you see something of yourself in it. Love it.

Kimberly Kaye said...

I'm, like, stupid-flattered. Thank you. So much.