Two Poems


Adam Love

OF THE FOLLOWING SEASON

 

                           —for Jon Cone

 

I’m tired of thinking of all you dead.

The black masks of your graves,

the visions you stir in me.

Black, the surging wind rattling

each window; black, the ocean

before dawn.

 

When I prayed for the storm cloud,

I wasn’t asking for rain, exactly.

More so the imagination of each

of your blue midnights to be flooded.

Washed. Cleaned.

 

Still, you howl at me.

Wolves in my kitchen,

barking at scraps of intractable meat.

 

The heat of the valley this Spring;

its awkward smell, the sexual blossoms. 

 

These goddamned crows.

 

If only the pear tree

could forgive them all.  

 

Tell me, if I were to open my veins,

would their wildflowers mend you?

 

 

 

WHAT MY MOTHER KNOWS

 

It’s not because I am unsure of the name

of the apples she uses for her pies,

it’s just that I bother

to pay attention to them.

Just like when she tells me stories

of when she rode her tan mustang bareback

through the field next door to her house.

Or how she finally convinced my father

to give up drinking coffee before they married.

How, after thirty years of marriage,

he’s traded their conversations for golf courses,

as she’s traded sex for wind chimes.

That I listen better than he does

simply because I’ve learned

to hold the phone away from my ear.

 

I want to tell her

that in fourth grade I found his porn

and was so excited that I built my idea

of what an erection should be.

And two years later, when it finally happened,

I hid the magazines under my bed

so she wouldn’t find them.

 

That I quit believing in God

before I was a teenager,

and the scars she saw on my wrist

weren’t from a fish hook.

 

That I was the one who gave

my little brother his first hit of Oxy.

That I ignored her dying father’s calls.

That when I fuck, I shake and blame it

on the fact that I prefer to be alone.

Then drive from Salt Lake to Malad,

just for stronger beer.

 

I want to tell her

there is no such thing as silence.

And if she listens closely, she’ll hear everyone

waiting for her in the Afterlife—

the one she’s always been too afraid to admit

doesn’t exist.

 About the Writer
Split Lip Press

Adam Love is an emerging writer from Salt Lake City, UT. New work is upcoming or appears in Ampersand Review, burntdistrict, Revolver, The Missouri Review, Revolver, Sugar House Review, Atticus Review, Metazen, Main Street Rag, among others. Love is the author of the the chapbook, Another Small Fire (Tired Hearts Press 2013). He runs the Literary Arts portion of the Utah Arts Festival. In his free time, he tries to find himself in between surfing the Pacific Ocean and exploring the mountains and western rivers of Utah.