No Verse, There is None – Leigh Holland

As we are, you cannot reach me.

For I’m only reachable by metaphors, Babylon candles,
                            handles without drawers and cellar doors.

For your thoughts are not my thoughts, which conversation underscores.
                            Slack-spoken drones, back spokes of rolling prose,
                                   those fractal ‘huhs’ and ‘ums’ that fall between my lines and yours.

For I have hive things to say and nine wonders to disclose,
                            and you don’t consider
                                    the value inherent
                                             in exploring any of those.

For we’re close enough for me to know
                            the forked-no-lightning path
                                   your sentences go about:
                                           Statement. Statement. Neat, unvaried fact,
                                                   straight-spoken, so exact.

For you’re compact, cloaked in dull directives, a language with no shine,
                            use your words, I’ll polish mine
                                   to hollow points and holy grails,
                                          dugouts for the divine—
                                                  I crave design.

For, considered from another angle,
                    pretty words are peacock feathers, fanned to pull focus
                            my way, self-aggrandizement via artful things to say,
                                   and when attention goes, I grieve it on its way.
This jade-gold-turquoise wordplay distracts me, too.
                                              Just now,
                                              you said
                                              and I didn’t reply.
                                              I missed my cue.

For, as we are, you cannot reach me. Nor I you.

Leigh HollandLeigh Holland grew up in Alabama, got an MFA in Creative Writing from Vanderbilt University, and now teaches English in South Korea. Her poetry has appeared or will soon appear in the Alabama Literary Review, Rumblefish Quarterly, Subterranean Blue and The Remembered Arts Journal.