THANKS SO MUCH to everyone who's submitted to Friday Love Poems! Keep 'em coming. Submission info is here.
Daniel McGinn is your favorite poet's favorite poet. He and his wife Lori are the beating hearts of the Southern California poetry scene. I pretty much owe them everything for the sanity, inspiration, and care that they've given me for the whole time I've been writing.
After Shira Erlichman
Your hair is a silver stream
cutting a passageway
across a midnight pillow
You dream of coins cascading
down a water slide into the pool
of your throat
Your breathing fills the room sparkling
like fish scales. What a beautiful night.
The curtains gleam like wishes.
touch my beating heart
rub the scar
I am bruised fruit
Suddenly, even the wind
soup super rice rose
dust clay beggar’s pipe
bong cereal strike spare
string the edges of a crucifix into a diamond,
the skin, paper thin, is folded over taunt twine
like a single slice sandwich, tear your old clothes
into swaddling strips and weigh it down, keep it
centered, keep it from spinning. Tie a string to the
center of the cross, where the chest would be
if there were a man on the cross, if he had not
risen. Run as fast as you can, run with all your might
slowly release the spool of string, feel the sky pull
on your hand as the kite grows smaller and smaller.
You look like a bug. Hold on to the string, don’t
let it go down, learn to control it, teach it to fly.
We are here, growing old, just like we said we would.
good morning poem
How many eggs have we eaten in all these years together?
My breastbone is divided and held
open like butterfly wings with a shiny tool
called a retractor. The surgeon will expose
a bloody beating heart. He does this every day.
This time he will go to work on me. He will crack me
open like a clam and replace my leaky valve and undo
the damage I was born with. My sternum will soon
be closed and stitched back together with stainless
steel laces. These will stay in my chest and be buried
with me. My flesh incision will be closed with clear
sutures that resemble fishing line. Tubes will be placed
in my chest to drain the cavity of normal post-operative
bleeding. I will carry a bag of blood and water like a briefcase
up and down the hospital halls. It will be difficult to breathe.
I will be sent home three days later
a poodle will sleep on my wound until it is healed.
I will talk to the poodle, a lot, until the poodle
is no longer a dog, the poodle is my nurse and my surprise
companion. The poodle will know this and be fulfilled
she will begin to strut like a small pony and the two of us
we become inseparable, like Mary was, with her little lamb
the one with the waggity tail.
your sleep was a warm puppy
your skin was full of highways
we drove all night, side by side
I feel asleep at your wheel
Lady Gaga of bugs.
It wasn’t me
it must have been the poodle.
the ocean forms a circle and sings to the island
wake up poem
the stream resurrected
is dragged across the pillowcase
it ripples like water down your perfect back
shake your silver hair, it sparkles like coin
your feet touch my floor and my floor is blessed
the sun appears over your shoulder as you sip your coffee
I watch your lips, like a deer frozen your headlights,
I watch your lips.
a car pulls up to the curb
l look out the window, once again
it isn’t you.
Our hearts beat in perfect time.
Music is playing in our bones