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.
 
 
 

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oooo
-hj

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.