Tuesday, April 19, 2011

'A Geneology of Unfinished Love Poems' by Dean Rader

I don’t know
what the dead
_____ about love,

if, for instance,
they remember it
the way an amputee

recalls a missing _____—
a necessary part
of the body found

only in a memory
of _____ slick
in water, hot

over flame, delicate
on thigh, in a mouth—
or if the ____ is just sorrow.

Your eyes are so _____.
There is no way
they can be glass,
though the left one
is always a bit
off center.

I wonder if your body
is already on the lookout
for the first _____
of my ear hair.

Your feet are so _____,
I don’t care that they’re webbed.
You’re my duck.
My beautiful little duck.
You can’t imagine the ways
I want to _____ you quack.

And then there is your _____.
I really like it.
In fact, I wish
I could carry it
around in my knapsack.
I’d _____ it the way
an archeologist
handles a sacred vase,
the way a cop grabs
the most dangerous felon.
I’d handcuff it to my belt loop.
I’d wear it like it was
Two loaded _____.

With the _____ union
even holy men forget
it is God they _____

Dear _____,

I want to _____ for lying to you about that Home Ec. teacher. She meant nothing to me. And I need to come clean about the trapeze artist, the pool boy, your _____. What was I thinking?
I hope you realize that I have forgiven you for pushing me into the _____ of that classics scholar. She’s ancient history. That’s a little joke, but I’m not joking about how ____ I feel: Your cousin Sophie. Really … my mistake.
And about the palm reader. All she did was _____ my hand. Honest. But when she traced the creases, the narrow _____ on the map of the future world, she made me think: I want to know you the way she knows these lines. I want you to _____ me the way she knows how to lie.

(from his book Works and Days, Truman State University Press, 2011)

A poem from the book (Twilight at Ocean Beach: 14) was named by Verse Daily as one of the Best Poems of 2010.

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