Poetry 2014 / Volume 45

melancholy — Elena Botts

i. prelude
I am not existing so readily. I am not existing so readily. I am not existing so readily.

ii. melancholy#1
you have melancholy eyes slanted to hold
in numeric universes inside, scrolling in
scrolling your tight miniature ocean syntax speech, tidbits of news stripped of vapidity, what it lacked was satire–the thin lip of your boot slicked, but oh
thunder in your hair that you tuft and lightning but never gets out, your lonely body merely debris after-rain so pale, window curtain sadness
because you know the moon is crying even when it is waxed, you know
you’re alone in the dark night always but you know you are the dark night always.

iii. melancholy#2
you are made of milk and buried tributaries,
a lost thing. maybe you are a displaced city, all atmosphere in your hair
and the bare simplicity of human bones.
deconstruct all of me and we can watch the sun set in a kind of afterlife eternity.
i’m sorry always for taking you to staircases
and driving me crazy
pretending as if the moon could dream,
its pale liquidity dripping along the tenement front and freezing
me in a summer night eternity on this porch (here is another empty house glimmering
with substantial not-life)
so it’s autumn, so its freight barreling into the front of my face, rusted vestiges
of civilization trembling my vertebrate
in manufactured calamities, yet again
here is a thing more powerful in itself
than ever man intended (your
lost dark eyes and features so carefully
alpine, the mouth railed in displacement
lines, the feathered periphery
of motion in and out
of rooms, whatever). i’ll always.

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