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White Narcissus, and: Falling Asleep near a Statue of the Poet Timrod
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60 Last call was called, Eurydice, half an hour ago. I’m sitting in the Publix parking lot, yes, the store is closed, yes, I should be in bed, but I want Junior Mints, I want mushroom ramen noodles, I want frozen pizza bites and Sutter Home wine coolers, sea salt, candied ginger, ginseng tea, cucumbers, strawberries, animal crackers, soy sauce, fish sauce, wasabi peas, I want, Eurydice, everything that reminds me of you and nothing changes my heart, cracked tambourine, shimmery shimmer, I want fresh eggs, pickled herring, cardamom, bagel chips, tapenade, chicken wings, I want food that isn’t food, I will drink flower water, Windex, lemon Pledge. Let me taste what I cannot taste. Morning approaches, I lie in some stranger’s yard next to white narcissus. Lucky boy, who only ever had to love himself. White Narcissus two poems by jason myers 61 Falling Asleep near a Statue of the Poet Timrod Night holds its tongue over Charleston, South Carolina, where we’ve driven for you to interview couples married for more than fifty years. Hush, love, let the soft hand of six o’clock slip you into something more comfortable. Grasshoppers click, the live oak’s leaves flicker, flames from a green furnace. Earlier in the day I’d gone to see a Rodin exhibit, in which the sculptor’s words were placed next to his works. “Drink, eat, sleep and love” strikes me as the vegetative wisdom; the rest is beyond our control, he wrote in a letter to Robert Louis Stevenson, an unlikely correspondent. “I’ve never been here before,” you like to say every time we pass into a new town, sometimes several times a town, just to make me laugh. In Eternal Springtime, the male lover’s left arm stretches back, away from the beloved, as though clutching a ghost. If I could push away each mournful spirit, make all always spring, dearest, you know I would. Your breath steeps, you sleep on my shoulder. We lie like lilies on a table, awaiting the florist’s touch, the right vase. A few feet away stands a monument to a mostly forgotten, mostly forgettable poet. In seeds of laurel in the earth the blossom of your fame is blown, he promised some Confederate dead. If my vows to you be stranger, sloppier, it’s only that my mind drifts, seeks the familiar. I stare at your closed eyes, and realize I’ve never been here before. ...