Terry L. Kennedy


Surprisingly, your name’s still on the list—
first, third, it’s unimportant;
the music has yet to take form but it’s already floating
on the current of chatter, imperceptible, like her side-long glance
from across the room or the dull ring that will sing with your heart
come Sunday morning. But for now, there’s only
anticipation—the wait for that certain light
that no one has shown you but you still understand, like the lilies,
who know when to dig deeper, hold their ground, or frailly rise,
open & flower, which isn’t quite right, you realize,
but that doesn’t matter; this warm cup of beer,
her breath on his neck, is a truth you believe in,
like all of that clutter filling her house: carnival bears,
cheap glass figures, cryptic notes hastily sketched
in bright colored crayon—all of those things she likes to surround her
so that when she is lonely, chosen or otherwise, she can think of the times,
the reasons they loved her.
Those boys, they’ll rip your heart out, she said—
what you’ll always remember is that this night
marked the last time she kissed your lips, said I love you.

Terry L. Kennedy
Poem, copyright © Terry L. Kennedy, 2006
Appearing on the Fishouse with permission
Audio file, copyright © 2006, From the Fishouse