The DMQ Review

Copyright © 2002 Thibaut Dancette

Post-Valentine's Day with Waitress

I looked for the crumbs of January in a poem
about snow. I chanted the words, O terrible

white beauty and the waitress raised her eyebrows,
tapped her pen against her wrist. She asked,

"Are you reading poetry?" the way someone
asks, "Are you wearing pants?"

The idea seemed so unusual, that I imagined
she had never undressed for anyone.

I told her that I could still remember
the lines from a poem someone sent me

one Valentine's—
When you appear all the rivers sound in my body.

She told me that sometimes she can hear ocean
from her apartment window. She thinks

that all water tries to speak to us, even the coffee
brewing behind her on the counter.

Kelli Russell Agodon
Copyright © 2002

Kelli Russell Agodon's poems have recently appeared or will soon be appearing in Rattapallax, Seattle Review, Parnassus, Calyx, Crab Creek Review, Switched-On Gutenberg and other publications. She is a 2000 Artist Trust GAP recipient for her collection of poems "Geography." She is the Poetry Editor for the online literary journal Margin and a graduate of the University of Washington's Creative Writing Program.

"O terrible white beauty" is from David Lehman's poem "January 16."
"When you appear all the rivers sound in my body" is from Pablo Neruda's poem "The Queen."

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