We Had to Turn the Sound Down, Gerald Yelle

You were wrestling in your sleep, which left me free to explore
the outdoor museum sculpture garden cathedral in the woods
the dustbowl shrine and warmonger’s paradise
now a dumping ground for dead batteries and cheesecloth.
A gravel pit for penance and eating sour-cream and meatballs.
I bore the torch to the unisex outhouse
where music still blares –so no one hears the bathroom noise.
So no one believes the choice we made to stay
out of one another’s way. We worked on projects but it never
dawned on us to check them out before laying on
the finishing touch. We told ourselves we’d iron out the details
if we ever got that far. I could go as you or you could
come as me. Come as you are or as you were –it wouldn’t
make much difference. It’s all tied up in this search
for energy –the void we’re left in at the end of seduction.
A discerning eye can roam the labyrinth for decades and refuse
to share. Keep a lot inside. Show no
interest. It’s no wonder we don’t take better care of our food.
Forget shelter. Forget living under a roof –don’t even
stay awhile. As long as you’re asleep open sky is roof enough.


Gerald Yelle’s books are The Holyoke Diaries (Future Cycle Press), Evolution for the Hell of It (Red Dashboard Press), Mark My Word and the New World Order (The Pedestrian Press), and Restaurant in Walking Distance and Everything (Cawing Crow Press). He teaches high school English and is a member of the Florence (MA) Poets Society. 

Gerald Yelle recommends “The Book” by Ben Loory.

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