He lied to her that night
when she asked him if he remembered
the night when they crossed the line.
He said that he had lost the memory
of whether or not
there were any songs left
that could redeem them,
or narrate the consequences.
and like a goldfish
she forgot if that's what she wanted.
She satisfied him later
when he wanted her to remind him
of the events that led them away.
She tried her best to recreate
the dances she used to master
but no matter how hard she prayed
her hands refused
to press against each other.
and like a false prophet
he gave her blessings he had no right to give.
Then later down the hall.
She pressed her face to his
when he started dreaming of the southlands
just like his brothers had before him.
She told him that she needed the winter
but, perhaps if she pressed hard enough
her face would always be on his chest.
Even though she knew
eventually the tan would overtake it.
and like a proud captain,
he went down as far as he could.
He dialed the phone
when she started making proposals
that couldn’t survive the sunlight.
He knew a person
who’d appreciate the indecency of it all
and who wouldn’t mind the drive at night.
He’d be gone by the morning
but he couldn’t stand to leave his bed empty.
and like a dedicated writer
I scribbled through the phone’s racket.
Believe me when I say that I know that sometimes my poems can be a tad bit ambiguous and sometimes really hard to understand if you don't happen to have my mind, and the last I checked none of you did. So I thought maybe I'd share some of my meanings with you guys and in doing so maybe even inspire some of you to write something yourself once you see how someone else does it.
First off, let me discuss the set-up of this poem. This poem tells two separate stories with two different couples. The idea being that they both live in the same apartment building and these events are unfolding just down the hall from each other.
As for the technical side of things, I wanted to use a repeating format for this whole poem. The repeating format being one 8 line stanza starting with 2 lines, one line as one person's reactionary action, and the second being what they're reacting to. The next 6 lines are an expansion on the first two lines that are designed to build up to the next section.
The next repeating format I added to this was the 2 line bits that separate the major stanzas. These are basically 2 line similes. The first line explains just what the person is acting like, and the second line explains how.
The two times that I break this format is in the middle when I state that the next portion of the poem is taking place down the hall. The other time I break the format is at the very end. Instead of creating a simile about the person in the previous stanza, I break the 4th wall. I reveal that the narrator of the poem isn't a faceless voice, but someone who is actually a part of the world that this poem takes place in.
As for the imagery itself. Everything within the 8 line stanzas are for the most part, literal. These are things that the people in the poem are actually doing or thinking. Now that doesn't mean everything is straight forward and should be taken at face value. I played around with the language so that the things that have caused these people to do what they're doing is left for interpretation.
So there's that. I have to admit I'm not very good at explaining the things I write, it always makes sense in my head, but I think everyone can agree that the things in your head don't always make sense in other contexts. But I do enjoy pulling the curtain back a little. So I'm thinking that I'll do this with a few select poems or other things I post in the future. But definitely not all of them, because this was kind of exhausting.