Thursday, September 11, 2014

Marianne Szlyk - One Poem

Evening on Chinkapin Street
The men are talking
about evolution, about relativity,
about earth science and epistemology--
how do we know what we know.
On a nubby blue couch,
I yawn, and the world blurs.
The night, half-heard words,
chirping music, and
the body, that ragdoll,
are all part of a dream
while the men are talking.
When I’m sitting with you,
our words turn the night to ocean.
We’re stranded in a lighthouse.
No, we’re safe in our sanctuary
where small oranges glow in glass bowls,
their scent and color brightening
this salty, mildewed room.
Finished with the visit,
we each take an orange
and go out on the porch.
I break off a vine branch.
Its last leaf rides the dry wind.
Dark cats depart the house.
I say goodbye to you drily.
There is no more ocean tonight.
Marianne Szlyk is a professor of English at Montgomery College and an associate poetry editor at Potomac Review. Her poems have appeared in Poppy Road Review, The Blue Hour Literary Magazine, Pyrokinection, Poetry Pacific, Storm Cycle 2013: The Best of Kind of a Hurricane Press, and elsewhere. Others are forthcoming. She edits a poetry e-zine at

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