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David Bartone

We wanted / to pour on like Keats wrote letters. It was too much / To ask of anyone.

What Makes a Man Marry the Same Woman Twice

Dear, so what if my vision’s at a loss.
Don’t celebrate. I don’t want it sorted,
I don’t want it soured—& don’t degrade
Loneliness, it always the object toward
Which the action of the sea is directed.
Is it called trysting?—then, in voided love
When the water cut us off at the waistline
& a pigeon pecked on the word then.
We danced we rained we the moon across the night &
The crabs walked sideways as they do.
There’s nothing else to say. Our feet
Settled deep in the undertow. We wanted
To pour on like Keats wrote letters. It was too much
To ask of anyone. It was too much to keep within.

Seventeen Weeks

Now my cat is slowly dying
across the coffee table. A
well-adorned ribbon
but that would somehow spoil it.
Thinness ruins toast; soggy
in any way
is never, almost never,
a good thing. The ways
you can never know
I used the maul and wedge to be here.
Even the block wears a frown.
The dreadful time to pack
our bags even if for returning home.
The shacks are tired
themselves so we put them to bed
near us. I will miss waking
when we each burst up
thinking responding to the other.
We've never kept a joint dream
journal but consider of it often—
a line painted white on a white wall.
How the eyes draw
a cloud just as much
as the cloud and sky do.
I thought about breakfast
but as a jay murdered by its mother—
I am natural grogginess. You have been
up for some time it seems.
I am wedding after wedding after wedding.

David Bartone lives in Amherst, MA. Some case studies he wrote with Jeff Downey will come soon in Invisible Ear.