The Poet by Nicole Lynskey

The Poet

Poets – they will skip the friendly bit
about the weather, a nod of greeting
across the early morning fog
between souls that emanate
from our unlikely bodies like sun dogs.

Though I may never meet you
– your bushy eyebrows like a Russian Czars’
or call out to you on the Locust Tree Walk
with your cadre of poetry students
– them still with that new soul scent,
spirits yet undented in that incident
with the garage,

I run my fingers over the silky paper
of your book, cover the color of sunset,
and am invited, if just for a while,
into your inner sanctuary,
my elbows on the thick grain
of an old oaken table,
dark roast in a heavy mug
your daughter made in art class.

My poems running out back
under the sycamores,
the world a catalog of scent.
The view from your window as only you see it:
a boy from Egypt with his footprints
in the morning snow, a thick, hearty love
for your crowbar wielding
artist wife, your hula-hooping,
cutlass-driving mother.

And so, I count you as my friend,
Gregory Djanikian,
and set you on the bookcase
with my other skinny-bound
friends: Smith, Meek, Simic, Oliver,
who I think you will like,
leaving the lot of you
to whisper quietly together
on the shelf.

by Nicole Lynskey

Editor’s Note: This poem uses personification to describe a reader’s love for words.


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