I’m in a frustrated place, where I feel like I want to write blog posts, but can’t. This isn’t because I don’t have anything to say, but I’m at this curious point where I want everything I write to have some kind of deeper commentary beyond the observational. (I always swore I wouldn’t be a commentary poet, and now I can’t help it. At least, any commentary was meant to be inadvertent.) So I keep trying to work these aspects into very straightforward moments that I’m trying to capture in verse, and finding that they turn into wiggly balls of yarn I want to throw out, or really interesting things that I want to keep off the blog for possible fledging in the publication arena. (It’s been almost a year since I’ve submitted stuff. Gearing up for that.) And the result is that I haven’t put anything on here in seven days.
(Of course, if people wanted to send me poems to Refine, I’d be happy to do that, too…!)
But anyway, this is from a moment on the train, though some of the details have been melded and altered. Pomona was the Roman goddess of fruit and plenty and all. I kind of like the idea of her being a self-assured blind woman on the train. Give me more fodder to write with!
No one gives up their seat for the blind woman
who taps her way onto the train.
This is the downtown 6 on a Wednesday morning,
everyone heaped with their own weight
until they’re too stubborn for anyone else’s. Except
this woman, lithe and undefeated.
Nothing has been offered to her. She doesn’t ask.
The train’s baleful light burns through
dark glasses to show the shape of staring eyes
free of worry. She sways in perfect time,
knowing the route, each curve predicted two
seconds in advance. Her right hand
props up the white cane. Her left hand reveals
fresh apricots, one by one, cracked open
by some hidden trick of the palm. Soon enough
the whole train smells like stone fruit.
Everyone wants to give something to the world.
The blind woman knows apricots
by their perfume, which she offers up, then
raises to her mouth and sucks back in.
The perfume becomes the train. Which becomes
an everything, shaped like a kiss.