Straw lovers

by Abner Dormiendo


It’s not me, it’s you. Or more like
it’s that person who just walked
across the street as you said it’s
your fault, it’s your fault that
the sky is a cruel shade of yes
and the man is an umbrella
with the same transparent grief,
that same unchanging grief.


It’s not me. It’s not me. It’s not
that person who expects irony
and carries an umbrella like a defense
for the inevitable propinquity of rain
on a hot-white noon, which means
no, not me, not I, not my life
under this canopy of change. I am I.


It’s not me, it’s you, and your bones
of weather and cloud, swirl of tongue
in a typhoon of words, light falling
off the sky like overripe apples
on the roof of we, that you with a basket
up a tree, hoping for sweetness
in form of goodbye, but worms
and rotten flesh and flies. Goodbye.


It’s not you, it’s not me, it’s not
the fault of rain it is raining
or that the sun is just another star
defeated by the fickle-mindedness
of a mindless climate, a former lover
in the shape of none, if memories
are but smoke in air, cloud in sky,
disappear, disappear, in the blink of my eye.


It’s not me, it’s you, the different forms
of you. The different names I called you
to have you and to hold, to hold you
and to have, that having meaning halving
meaning I want to know you and to know
is to break, and what do I know of this
incoming weather but laughters of white
in the static of an electric sky,
the atomic sky, the indivisible sky.


It’s not me, it’s not you. It’s your lover,
the sky. Your lover, the rain. Your lover,
this poem. Your lover, apples and peaches
of our eyes, the blizzards of romance
on the summer of your mouth. Your lover,
the throat of yesterday. Your lover today
in the absence of him, the forms he took,
the monster he made of me, that memory.


It’s not just you. It’s not just you.


Day 8: Write a palinode, where you write a statement only to contradict yourself at the end. Kind of overt here in this poem, but I don’t know. It’s exhausting to catch up.