Poem: Surfacing – Ronnie K. Stephens

May 7, 2009 § Leave a comment

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Content - Elena Harding

Her ice-blue eyes peer deep 
when she fixes her gaze to mine, 
her mind turning me over and over. 
Despite the internal world 
        she insists I can’t understand 
and polished theory of relative existence, 
she practices the art of simplicity when she speaks. 
You make me smile big. 
Not like a house 
or with lily cheeks 
stretched across porcelain skin. 
Big. 
Like big is big 
and she cannot make it small. 
She likes talking to me 
when she wants to be left alone, 
when she prefers to sit and listen 
at the entrance to a door 
                        she is not ready to open. 
Her mother does not exist, she says. 
Nor Israel, nor Lebanon. 
These are not childhood revelations. 
They are her way of life. 
Leaned against her trunk, she fidgets 
with her watch. I ask her for the second time 
what she thinks of me. 
        I think you exist 
        when you’re not with me. 
        A finger upon my neck, 
        eyelashes flitting against my chest. 
        Butterfly migration. 
I can only smile. Big. 

Her ice-blue eyes peer deep 

when she fixes her gaze to mine, 

her mind turning me over and over. 

Despite the internal world 

        she insists I can’t understand 

and polished theory of relative existence, 

she practices the art of simplicity when she speaks. 

You make me smile big. 

Not like a house 

or with lily cheeks 

stretched across porcelain skin. 

Big. 

Like big is big 

and she cannot make it small. 

She likes talking to me 

when she wants to be left alone, 

when she prefers to sit and listen 

at the entrance to a door 

                        she is not ready to open. 

Her mother does not exist, she says. 

Nor Israel, nor Lebanon. 

These are not childhood revelations. 

They are her way of life. 

Leaned against her trunk, she fidgets 

with her watch. I ask her for the second time 

what she thinks of me. 

        I think you exist 

        when you’re not with me. 

        A finger upon my neck, 

        eyelashes flitting against my chest. 

        Butterfly migration. 

I can only smile. Big.

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