French Kissing

What is there left to do during a truce, but look at boys
swinging swords at the trunks of trees?
You reach into the sky & pull down a phonograph,
& we listen to the helium in the stars. Your hands
are clean air & that’s worth repeating, but the clouds
are mad. What more than dissatisfied nature,
the lakes rise to the sky, only to fall back down.
Everything not the same, but still, everything.
Jehanne, warmed by skin & thunder. Please stay.
People love & it’s good. I’ve always said to the going,
it is better to gaze at the ground than to find
yourself buried beneath it. Rouen in a dream
I’ll never have. Or, to purify the Seine, to growl like a lion,
to cough angrily into the wind. Jesus, may we all die
the same? I said His name too, I said it
in a morning not yet sung.


About this poem:
"I was watching The Passion of Joan of Arc in a graduate medieval piety course, and I fell in love with Joan's eyes (or at least the actress that played Joan). I thought, I should save her. So here I am writing poems for Joan of Arc until she comes back to life and promises to never leave again."

Gregory Sherl



Copyright © 2013 by Gregory Sherl. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on March 12, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.