it’s still a few hours away from my birthday, and there’s nothing than celebrating it with a poem. i have a digital collection stashed away somewhere filed as “poems of gods.” here’s one miracle from that stash.

Lisa Zeidner

We still want to say the one true thing
we almost said by that pond in the beginning.

One of us skipped a rock instead, not well,
and offered something paradoxical:

Then we wanted now. Then we said, will be best.
Though we know better now, we still miss then.

Later, snowed in—though the only elements
were typographical—we read Hamlet

out loud, watching words clink through ice.
How distinct a word was then, how crisp!

What is this homesickness?
What do we think we’ve lost?

Though nothing’s wrong, we still suspect
the true thing must be said in verse—so what,

we therefore ask, is verse? The reverse
of how we’ve spoken all these years?

If so, when did we grow prosaic? Why?
I tell you everything we did was poetry:

our words were stepping stones across
the fairy tale pond, meandering and mossy,

yet getting us somewhere—here, perhaps.
Of course it’s more complicated than that.

You reminded me—we had a history even then—
how I once said, You are the perfect sentence.

I remembered a scarf of yours, bright red.
Was that the true thing needing to be said?

Let’s say it to this vulnerable snow, tonight.
This snow, unsaying itself on the pavement.


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