8 Apr 2013

The Pepper Should Be Lonelier – Matthew Alan Waller

Knowing our love is salty makes me think:
In ocean towns, love is part of the weather,
the wide hands of the breeze fanning it in from the sea. 
In ocean towns, love gets inside your mouth when you yawn, 
until you have to brush your teeth again, and it hangs in the air
above your food, and you can smell it in your clothes, 
and somewhere are smells of crab meat and suntan lotion, 
but you can’t find them because all the love’s around. 
And the salt hangs like a love letter on the fridge, 
reminding you so much that the charm gets as redundant as the waves. 
And you wish to God that for just one minute of your saline life 
you didn’t have to be so damn happy! 
But our love stays next to the pepper, and near it are smells 
of shoes and cat hair so thick our eyes water. 
Our love is contained. We keep it in a porcelain sailboat and take it 
in small sprinkles with French fries and watermelon because it gags us straight. 
But there are times when you come in from the wet air of July, 
I can taste love on you, like drinking from the ocean. 
And there’s the smell of hair, and the smell of shoes, 
and of watermelon and French fries and the wet air of July. 
And we all crawl in bed, seasoning it, shoes underneath, 
and the cat curled like a seashell near the window, unaware he is an ingredient. 

Source: www.poetry.com, 2004.

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