Interior Lives by Jane Poirier Hart

Interior Lives

All day, wandering through streets of my life as if in someone else’s
old city: brick-bound, blue-sky-capped. Each alley dead ends in foreboding.
Half-toned shadows make a constant companion. But this is better than
night dreams, my car sailing off the bridge, filling up with river water.
Fear of fervor is prickly, like sweat trying to break skin on a bone-
dry day. I flick the feeling off my shoulders, settle them down and back.
Old yoga lessons, when I believed a body could know salvation.
All that I know now is contained, here, in this kitchen: butter, sea salt.
If heat to the skillet results in some mundane miracle, is it
possible that a man and woman—or woman and woman, man, man—
redefining touch, souls resurfacing, shaking off muddy river
weeds, can make a meadow of themselves, shelter in it, unafraid of
insects there, see song in skeptical work bees share? Can any of us
see what lies past outstretched arms, a sizzling pan, coarse salt changing butter?

by Jane Poirier Hart


Editor’s Note: This poem teaches the reader what is important by asking questions, and allowing the imagery to fill in the details.

Poet’s Note: This is a “Seussian” sonnet, after the poet Diane Seuss: 14 lines, 17 syllables per line.


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