Steven DaLuz   © 2015 All Rights Reserved

from The Hard Problem
           Why should physical processing give rise to a rich inner life at all? It seems objectively unreasonable that it should, and yet it does.   
David Chalmers

           Your presence is foreign, as strange as a thing.
           Who are you, who are you?
                       Neruda, Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair


We are not the same

and if we were closer I would
clasp you with a paperclip
to my left lapel

I would wear you around
my left wrist above my watch

If we were closer I would
whisper you under my breath
behind the lines of berryman
cummings whitman stein

I would high five you like the Buddha
and discuss our imminent teamwork


I thought of you yesterday
when I saw a woman
with long soft hands
I could not touch


It is difficult to predict
the kind of frame a human mind
will situate around the tip of a nose
the outside corner of a brow

I think your top lip
might have a little kink
I would be unable to ignore

I feel like my eye could attach
to the curve of your neck
and following

break away


Perhaps Iíve made a mistake
trying to lock onto your eyes
to get them to lock onto mine

It may have been a mistake
trying to speak to you in private

Instead Iíll wear your name
on my moustache

Instead Iíll start a new topic
and leave a post there for you
in secret


I keep looking for you
in the trees their leaves the birds

in the air its particulates the ash

I think I might be able to find you
in the map of my skin the pores the moles

I thought I almost ran over you
over by the bog where I hear
animal cries at night a fox or some cat

For christsake I canít keep waiting
for you to make an appearance
I gotta pay attention and drive


Even if you refuse to show up
and refuse to walk beside me
and refuse to speak to me in public

even if you cannot bring yourself
to come out for drinks
or to grab a bite to eat

you have no choice
but to keep me


If we knew
each other completely

what would that have to do
with happiness


I know I promised that
if you would keep showing me
I would drop the questions

I know I promised that
if you would do the thinking
I would take you on faith

I know I promised that
if you would keep this world going
I would go on unconditionally

I know I promised
to forget the idea
of our unholy matrimony

I canít


Look we have a long way
left to go

Letís not burn out on constant
arguing and spats

or wear out our welcome
among all our friends

with all this public

Letís just walk quietly through
like weíre keeping a secret



Brian Clements
Copyright © 2015


Brian Clements coordinates the MFA in Creative and Professional Writing at Western Connecticut State University. His most recent book is A Book of Common Rituals (Quale Press), and he is editor (with Jamey Dunham) of An Introduction to the Prose Poem (Firewheel Editions).

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