“There isn’t any me. I’m you. Don’t make up a separate me.”
―Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms
by Jonathan DeBoe
I will bathe my waters in yours,
sharing the mud,
moiling into you.
I will make you overflow.
I will lose my way,
make new ways,
fill the low places.
We will freeze together
from then on always one; and
I will never be completely me,
for being partly you.
by Wolff Bowden
You sit down to order a simple plate
of chicken chow mein and discover
you’re a monkey or a tiger or a snake.
As you munch fried noodles your
paper placemat gives it to you straight:
you are talented and affectionate, marry a sheep.
The goldfish in the tank across the
room swim in and out of a huge,
submerged pagoda while you try
to remember the birthdays
of every woman you ever loved.
Maybe none were sheep;
that’s why things didn’t work out.
Pouring yourself a tiny cup of tea,
barely a mouthful, a giant’s tear,
you examine the menagerie on your placemat,
twelve animals, each illustrated in red.
Why is a cock compatible with
a snake? And why should a dragon avoid
a dog? Perhaps true wisdom lurks beyond
the brink of comprehension.
Which is why you lean back into the
vinyl booth and lose interest in the whole idea.
Sure, life is a zoo, people are animals,
rats and dogs are everywhere, but
for now your hunger takes over as
the waiter scoops steaming rice onto your plate.
You eat like a tiger, aggressive and courageous,
wondering if the solitary woman across the room
might be showing signs of timidity, elegance. If so,
she could be a sheep, you just might make it.
You’ll marry in the spring and she’ll
give birth to three strong children, Tom,
the tiger, Alex, the rabbit, and Annabell,
the pint-sized dragon.
Spring Fire Goddess by Wolff Bowden
passionate and be-furred
Cat’s tongue rolls along the curling, velveteen surface of the catnip.
Arms stretch across the sateen-sheathed stuffing of the quilt.
Satisfied, the cat exhales.
It lolls on back, paws curled, in the middle of the room,
for anyone to see its ruffled tum-fur and wide expanse of belly.
Reckless between its out-hung thighs.
The cat can stare for hours, who can tell it not to?
It will watch the bird through glass the sunny afternoon,
if it wants to.
The cat can ask, with meows rehearsed,
for a stroke,
an open lap,
a kiss upon the head.
A scribble of the chin or brushing of the back.
Your hand along the length, from head down to the tail.
The cat could lay beside you,
and even if you sneezed,
the cat could simply turn aside and fall asleep again.
Content to feel itself against you, closer with each breath.
There is nothing you could do about it: it is a cat.
by Jonathan DeBoe
Your practical lips
twitch and grin in
the final stages of sleep,
gift-wrapped in morning hair.
I step into my boots
and out the door.
Taking that hickory stick
with the charred point that stays
behind the door in the shed,
I climb the hill, clouding
the sky with my breath,
and stoke the smoldering sun
to warm the morning and return
before you know I’m gone.
not enough wine in the world
There is a newly discovered reason to go forward each day into the rain and cold. Let us be nearer, let us be close. Closest. Let us be true, each day as true as could be. Let us be nearer, let us spend each day nearer to me. Me and you. Let us be more than me and you, let us be us. Let others associate us, mediocre and mad together, marvelous or sad together, let us go forward to be close. Let us step closer. Let us dissipate the distances as our bodies approach, let us grow wiser in our wisdom and taller in our heads, taller in our dispositions, wiser in our hearts. This is now once inch between us. Let us crush it with our skin, as our private space is turned to dual. Let us be dual.
Let us be together.
Watch: Mostly Martha (love wins) or The Painted Veil (love lost)
Read: The 50 Greatest Love Letters of All Time and
My Life in France (about Julia Child’s early married years)