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Poem of the Day
  • Poem of the Day: Poem
    This isn't a great poem.
    I'm not writing this to write a great poem.
    I am writing this because I am one person.
    I am only one.
    I have a face and a front of my face.
    I have two shoulders and two hips.
    I'm living.
    I live.
    So what can I do with my face if it can't see that person's face?
    What do I tell my eyes to see?
    How do I let them know that when they see that face it is that person's wish that they not know it?
    How do I tell them we have to go back into the world where no one knows us and we don't know anyone?
    How do I tell them to stay there?
    There is nothing for them to see.
    How do I tell my hands they will never touch that person's hands?
    How do I tell my ears that when that person says my name it is only a word?
    How do I tell my lips to make that person's name another word so I can say it?
    How do I tell my neck that person cannot see it?
    How do I tell my hair that person cannot pull it?
    It is my hair.
    It is my head.
    How do I tell my teeth they will never strike that person's teeth?
    How do I tell my thighs it does not matter what they do?
    They are the tops of my legs.
    They will fall apart.
    How do I tell my back it must never wait for that person?
    That person will not hold me.
    That person does not know where I am, does not think of me.
    Does not know I have exhausted every argument against him.
    That person does not know I no longer love freedom.
    That person does not know what it means when I ask for forgiveness.
    That person does not know I beg the world to let me change.
    That person cannot see my face.
    Knows a woman with my name and she is a woman.
    Does not know the word I hide behind my words.
    Does not know this face.
    Does not know this is my face.
    Says my name and looks at this person.
    How do I tell my feet to stand here?
    How do I tell my eyes to see?
    How do I tell the voice under my voice to keep on speaking?
    How do I tell my mouth to speak?

    Lucy Ives, "Poem." Copyright © 2015 by Lucy Ives. Used by permission of the author for PoetryNow, a partnership between the Poetry Foundation and the WFMT Radio Network.

    Source: PoetryNow (PoetryNow, 2015)

    Lucy Ives

    More poems by this author



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