chrysalis (i hold my words in awe)

i dream about a young man in love
driven to writing poetry
by his desire for a young woman

but the dream is about a film
about this young man in love
and his becoming a poet

i think about Joyce’s “Araby”
and that a film about writing poetry
cannot be anything except deadly boring

i dream/imagine the young man writing
and i try to hold onto the words
but the lines drafted slip away

even as i cannot separate the dream
from the layers of me as poet
and the impotency of words

like Faulkner’s Addie and Anse
in his dystopian and racist South
he carried like a rusting black anvil

the next morning i wake as usual
to our labs scratching the back door

we are the experiment of dogs training
owners to do their Pavlovian bidding

through the wake of this dream of a poet
and a restless night interrupted by barking

i discover Hera Lindsay Bird who is braver than i
who writes about being fucked from behind

while dropping names of canonical poets
who have become inevitably worm food

she also writes about Monica from “Friends”
with the same dexterity and stark profanity

until i realize i am as boring as a film
about a young poet madly in love

until i realize that my impotent words
could never satisfy her or maybe anyone

who isn’t already very well read
to the point of being the walking dead

because i cannot be as brave as she
i follow her on Twitter and check my blog stats

my granddaughter keeps brushing her hair
away from her eyes

i call her Sideshow Bob from The Simpsons
although she is beautiful

it is a brutally hot July day in South Carolina
as i watch her play

a tiny butterfly lands on her forehead just as she brushes
smudging it to dust on her eyebrow

because i cannot be as brave or beautiful as she
i hold my words in awe

—P.L. Thomas