Don’t say those things
when you know they aren’t
good for me:
Once upon a time
there was a sailor
who saw the moon
and he tried to sail
closer to it, following
its milky trail for ages
until he realized his boat
was chained to waves
so he drank the rum, and
dove overboard to live
in the reflection.
And then you said there was
the case of the peacocks
and how they flooded the airwaves
with their caterwauling cat calls,
got the radioman so ticked off
he had to duct tape their beaks shut
and then, the noise they made?
Don’t say those things.
Don’t tell me oranges and grape vines
can’t grow in snow country. Don’t ask me
if I’m listening. Don’t tell me that my heart
is anything but a pump because I don’t need
your pity. I don’t need your respect
or the reputation you want me to have.
I need to see your orange hair
dancing behind you, twirling around
barstools. The cigarettes and every excuse
you think you have to give. I need you
to love something more than a wrecking ball
stalled at the top of its incline, before it undresses
that building you always loved and never shared
I need to hear you say daffodils.
I need you to pick your sweet basil
and offer it to my tongue.
All of these poems are taken from a manuscript currently titled C O S M O N A U T. New work is upcoming or appears in Black Tongue Review, Cream City Review, Danse Macabre, Revolver, Sugar House Review, Atticus Review, Metazen, Main Street Rag, among others. Adam Love is the author of the the chapbook, Another Small Fire (Tired Hearts Press 2013). He runs the Literary Arts portion of the Utah Arts Festival. In my free time, he’s somewhere in between surfing the Pacific Ocean or exploring the mountains and western rivers of Utah.