Missed Connections

You were, one        post describes, flying          cross-country from Boston.  Blonde.  Above        Las Vegas we made

eye contact & last         I saw you you         were on the concourse swallowed        in the crowd.  How

precarious, love.  With what          devoted vigilance we miss         each other as once,         the gods the bodies

of mortals made         their own momentarily.  Who pared          the skin & lived          among us un-

recognized.  Did not,         we asked, the very air         around us hum?  Another— the summer

rose garden in Berkeley.  You were,        as turns a planet in the light, lifting           to your stare an American

Beauty.  You        with the glasses.  The hat.  The heart             of artichoke loaded         in your basket who before

I could say hello rode         away.  Oh stranger say         anything.  Descend,          as the gods beyond

the walls of Ilion, the city          at all the borders of itself set         ablaze because        a butterfy in Phrygia fluttered

its wings.  For this         the empire sliding          into ashes.  Disaster,         like love, is the stuff

of seconds.  & yesterday—         our break-ups raging, our faces,         kissing, squinched          up like bats— passed

above us an asteroid the size of a city        block.  A shot         across the bow is how

the TV described it, inside,          even, the ring of satellites circling         the planet.  Passed

as once did not the rock         killed Dilophosaurus.  Ships          in the night.  The nineteen            hijackers captured

on camera were from the beginning listed.  Missed         connection.  At Denver

& San Diego we were late.  For each         drone strike signs         the President.  Menelaus—          for your face

I will send a thousand ships         & miss you.


Christopher Kempf  is a Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University.  His poetry and essays have appeared recently in GuernicaThe New Inquiry, and Prairie Schooner among other places, most of which can be accessed from his website.  He currently lives in Oakland.


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  1. Pingback: Issue Two, June 1, 2013 | Matter

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