A Favorite Poem (Issue #5)

Greetings, fellow bloggers!

Welcome to this month’s installment of a favorite poem from an established poet which I’ve come to enjoy.

I present to you Dean Young’s “Late Valentine,” which I actually *briefly* referenced in a previous post of mine (which can be found here). What I love about this poem is that it’s so sensual: although it deals with very difficult subjects (the ups and downs of marriage, sickness and hospitalization, etc), those very same topics in the end reveal the speaker’s ultimate love for his/her lover. The last few lines especially get me, as the lines start to blend between sense and sensation. They are absolutely beautiful, and I hope you enjoy their beauty as well. 🙂

Late Valentine by Dean Young

We weren’t exactly children again,
too many divorces, too many blood panels,
but your leaning into me was a sleeping bird.
Sure, there was no way to be careful enough,
even lightning can go wrong but when the smoke
blows off, we can admire the work the fire’s done
ironing out the wrinkles in favor of newer ones,
ashy furrows like the folds in the brain
that signal the switchbacks and reversals
of our thought and just as brief. Your lips
were song, your hair everywhere.
Oh unknowable, fidgeting self, how little
bother you were then, no more
than a tangerine rind. Oh unknowable
other, how I loved your smell.

– The Finicky Cynic

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