How I Escaped the Planet's Gravity

by Nathan Howells
(Portland, OR)

it was a sonnet that you read to me
under the Gothic bridge, it glowed like purple earth
in the escaping night and I
did not remind you of the water (how it rose!)
to touch the grass-lined border around
our hideaway
sitting inside our steel-bunker car
we were untouched, detached

and if I once had held
my tongue (though who
can hold what cannot be held) perhaps
the indigo of sadness on your lips
might have slipped
into the blue-gold sympathy
no amount
of effort can achieve
what I long for, time is rushing headlong
down the crowded turnpike
where I edit words
where the words expose the danger, where
highlighted movement on the glowing plastic
of a mild mind denies
the truth of death
and a cynic soon becomes
a zealot, or
I deviate from non-existent patterns driven
by the hailstorm of your eyes

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