Denver Butson: This is Not a Poem

18 October 2019


I’m not going to say anything about bridges. or horses. or sky
ripped apart by birds. there are no fires. in this poem. no lips
trailing smoke. no rearview mirror eyes.
I’m not going to compare her eyelashes to flags waved from departing ships.
or her eyes themselves to rain through dusty winter windowpanes.
her lips to wine stains. her fingers to Japanese paper napkins.
that’s not my image anyway. you won’t find any scarecrows
between these rows of words. no train whistles in the vowel sounds.
no silent movies reflected in her sunglasses I’m not going to say
that her syllables are arpeggios of surrender. or anything like that.
in fact. my poem girl’s breath is nothing like the sweet of night’s earth.
her ribcage isn’t rattled by the angry bird I call her heart.

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