A Poem: ‘Melody, Speed, And A Man Worth Manning’

I have known them as flashing thunder stealers, echo-fed
and friendly. I have called to mind some thirty-plus
purples and dare to pin one close to your ear. My lanky

statistician, so stern, so storm-ready, a thousand
lighted houses rush across the night to greet you. Little-
known apothecaries lure you to the door. I would stumble

if so doing meant the sky would smell of oranges
or that somewhere someone watching would see fit
to paint a portrait. But listen to how dulcetly I play

the game of catch up. Time is on my side and finds
direction in my frill. Roulade of lucent rationalizations,
ocean sad with conjugated rooms, the schooner is

shifting; the race is not rigged. The season of fallen birds
that I was too in love to notice comes as close to home
as the wind allows. Count yourself among

the counted. Say you know me, and say it again.

 

 

Eileen G’Sell’s cultural criticism, essays, and poetry can be found in Salon, VICE, Boston Review, DAME, DIAGRAM, Conduit, Ninth Letter, Secret Behavior, and the Denver Quarterly, among others; in 2013, she was awarded the 2013 American Literary Review prize for poetry. Her chapbooks are available from Dancing Girl and BOAAT Press, and she is a features editor for The Rumpus. She currently teaches rhetoric and poetry at Washington University in St. Louis, and creative writing for the Prison Education Project at Missouri Eastern Correctional Center. In early 2018, her first full-length book, “Life After Rugby,” will be published by Gold Wake Press. She lives in St. Louis and New York.

This poem originally appeared in ALIVE Issue 5, 2017. Purchase Issue 5 and become an ALIVE subscriber.

Photography by Attilio D’Agostino.

More poems:

“The News” by Stephen D. Schroeder

“Triptych for An American Backyard” by Jay Erickson

“Elegy For A Broken Part” by Alison C. Rollins

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