Poem: when she appeared

I keep what I can of you

“New Order T-Shirt,” The National

when she appeared

he worried that appeared
mattered more than happy

sitting with her in the odd warmth
of a south carolina february
pollen dusted
a coastal island breeze
and no-see-um flies

he worried that appeared
mattered more than happy

as he noticed her skin glistening
like sitting poolside in summer

when he loved her so much it hurt
like all the other times

she pulled his mind and eyes
from the cormac mccarthy novel
fanned open between his legs

a novel she really wanted to read
if he would just fucking finish reading it

(she often talked in her sleep
cussing like a sailor as she did awake
fucking choose your mission and go to sleep)


you cannot ask someone
he realized like the bags under his eyes
are you happy or do you seem happy

and you can never climb on the table
to shout your love without causing a scene

or say with a straight face and sigh
i am too old for this

so he said nothing at all aloud
that silence of loving deeply and sincere

like the bite of a tiny tiny fly
that you never see until you feel it

—P.L. Thomas