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  • Roxanne Noor

Old Pains




I’m acting like a fool because

I want you to love me

You do, but you don’t

How unoriginal a story

How counterproductive in function

A defiant clock ticking backward

 

Waiting in this solitary lake

Pads of fingers wrinkle

I study the fading moon above

Feel an alienation of self below

How dexterous the imagination of a restless mind

A seeking body and desperate hands

 

If life matters and if I matter

Can you care in a way I understand?

Where I don’t need to probe it out of you

Shaking loose change from an old denim jacket

 

Happiness isn’t something to hunt for

It’s not in the scalloped sky or ribboned trees

It’s not a fresh bloodied kill

It’s not for the taking

It captures you

 

We had our ripened adventures

Clamoring Indian cities and starving cows

Bubbling hot springs in Thai mountains

Road trips and hammam on Turkish soil

 

Ejected from Saint Petersburg

You evaded the war

But kept it inside

 

At home you contract in the corner

Until you disappear

A speck of dust

Before you expand toward the light

Invisible but everywhere

 

You travel the road that leads away

Into another’s lacy thong

Into another’s open chest

Into another’s weary life


I’m not chosen

 

Forced to weather the chill alone

A Siberian winter in mid-July

It snows inside

Grief smothered in white

 

I am not an object of desire

I am desireful


Only love can make me this stupid

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