Cyprus

By Megan Power

Poem

I tap on his first floor window late
He parts the drapes, smiles faintly
Fag? I ask
He dresses for the cold
Joins me outside the residence entrance

We could be chest to chest
Steam enveloped in my shower
We could be front to back
Blanket wrapped in his bed
We could be mouth on mouth
Rain soaked in the park
We could be all this and
More anytime, anywhere
Right now
Redrawing the boundaries of our imaginations
Plunging into oblivion

Instead a thousand hours
In the cold dark we smoke
Inhaling exhaling three feet apart
On the butt-spangled walkway
Under partial moons and slapdash stars

Detailing particulars
Of the unremarkable
Schedules, forecasts, assignments
Without asking or having to he reaches into
My pocket for the lighter
Beyond that
It never goes

Some mix of
His understandable cowardice
Our lovely friendship
The twelve years
Between us

Detains

Drunk at the union or the pub
While the others carry on, their banter a perfect cover
He stares at me in a way that makes me itch
I can arrange him for you, he sneers, if I glance too long at someone
And I laugh as cruelly as possible,
Go on then
We gather our tools, go out to the patio and
Smoke

Meet him halfway
Provide a signal or
Create an opportunity
I can’t, won’t and shouldn’t
He’s the one with
Illusions left to amputate
A big blank book of failures

My need is not him-specific
Only even projected in his general direction
Since he’s always right in front of me
Smoking, a thousand hours in the dark

I mean – I’d be gentle
Oh so gentle
But his heart needs to be a sieve
Whereas now it is a kite

Something is possible between us
I’m not sure what
But a thing is possible


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MEGAN POWER lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Visit her blog: http://meganpower.blogspot.com

19 responses to “Cyprus”

  1. Kip Tobin says:

    a lot going on here,
    a lot of smoking,
    adumbrations
    tension unrelieved
    shadows and exhalations
    touch and insinuations

    i liked many of these images, like
    illusions left to amputate
    a big book of failures
    butt-spangled walkway

    the twelve years line really threw me
    but i, as with a lot of poetry,
    it isn’t to be deciphered and understood
    but felt in your veins

    which this one most certainly achieves.

    good work/words.

  2. Megan says:

    Thank you, S/KT. One of our lecturers yells at us if we try to make our poems “about” something. “Poetry is atmosphere!” he shouts. “Atmosphere!”

    Hard not to make a poem about something. Or someone.

    Butt-“spangled” is a direct nod to Annie Proulx, whose character Quoyle entered the world “hive-spangled, gut roaring with gas and cramp…”

    I see your adumbrations, fine sir, and raise you an absconding.

  3. I don’t really know what to say, apart from how much I liked this. I don’t want my comments to tamper with how much I took from it.

  4. Megan says:

    Smithy, it’s all about restraint. Restraining oneself is hot.

  5. Allison says:

    i loved the image of partial moons and smoking in the cold dark, i love the mystery of a possible thing…

  6. jmblaine says:

    Slapdash Stars my
    friend
    and Smoke

    Smoke
    most similar
    in the Hebrew
    to
    Emptiness
    Meaningless
    a Vapor
    Smoke passes
    between us
    then it is
    gone

    Please make welcome
    Pony 3.0!

  7. kristen says:

    Nice. I like “he stares at me in a way that makes me itch.”

    Looking forward to more poetry from you!

  8. ABC says:

    “Modern Monogamy”
    cant wait!

  9. Karl Monosyllabic says:

    Megan

    Simon Smithson commented … ” I don’t really know what to say, apart from how much I liked this. I don’t want my comments to tamper with how much I took from it. ”

    Which in of itself is funny as doesn’t Simon always say … digression.

    Megan, oops you did it again. The thing for me was I could see them at the bar, I could hear the back ground noise, I could see them smoking, breathing, flirting, well almost flirting ? Atmosphere baby … Atmosphere ! I was there … you took me there … and … I can’t wait to go back.

    xo

  10. “He’s the one with
    Illusions left to amputate”

    Ouch.

    “Drunk at the union” – between this and Greg Olear’s 1991 period piece, I’m nostalging wildly.

    When I read The Shipping News, I pictured Quoyle as John Lithgow. Not Kevin Spacey for Heaven’s sake.

    • Megan says:

      Hey Steve, so on point. Kevin Spacey just did not work in that role.

      The union is where all tiny melodramas come to a head. Different to go there as a mature student (ugh). But the beer is still ice cold and dirt cheap.

  11. Judy Prince says:

    Excellents, Megan: “Illusions left to amputate” and “his heart needs to be a sieve”.

    Best,

    Judy

  12. Erika Rae says:

    Oo – felt that. Nice, Megan.

  13. liesel says:

    we could be chest to chest… steam enveloped… we could be front to back… that WHOLE section is amazing amazing

    that’s exactly how it happens – our spastic fleeting thoughts and spotty attention spans
    so beautifully articulated

    and for the record, it’s going to be a good thing. even if you are pages 1 through 7 of his book of failures (assuming that’s still what you want to title it by the time you find yourselves on page 3)
    🙂

    xoxo

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