Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Post-Factual Love Poem

I’m thinking of the boiling sea
and the dream in which
all the fish were singing.
I want to wake up with my heart
not aching like death,
but I am always falling
in to terror. I’m a good person.
I grieve to appropriate degrees.
I mourn this season. This moment.
I mourn for the polar bear
drifting out of history
on a wedge of melting ice.
For the doughnut shop
which reached an end
yesterday, after decades and decades.
I’m thinking of the light
at dawn. Of the woman
in Alabama who ordered
six songbirds from a catalog because
she was lonely. Or
heartbroken. I’m thinking
of the four that came
dead in the box, mangled.
Of the two that are
missing. I want to tell you
that they were spotted
in the humid air
winging above a mall.
I want to tell you a story
about the time leaves fell from
the trees all at once. I am
thinking of cataclysm.
More than anything, I want to tell you
this. I want to disappear
in the night. I want
the night to vanish from memory.
I want to tell you
how this happened.

Credit


Copyright © 2017 by Paul Guest. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on June 30, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem


“I wanted to write a love poem about this nightmarish era. I think I was unsure if it was still possible. Or if it mattered. I was interested in the direct intimacy of the voice, in its inherent drama. And a local doughnut shop really did close after forty-seven years.”
—Paul Guest

Author


Paul Guest

Paul Guest is the author of Because Everything Is Terrible (Diode Editions, 2018).

Date Published: 2017-06-30

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/post-factual-love-poem