Every year for my friend Andrew’s birthday he asks his friends to write a poem and mail it (hard copy) to him. The poem need not be about him, or about any specific topic. Here is the poem I wrote last year (inscribed on the bottom of a plastic shoe mold), and this year’s poem is below.
Be sure to check out Andrew’s tumblr blog for a wonderfully curated collection of poems, his and others.
Running your hand over the grain, you said you regretted the wood. So tonight we ate dinner off of you.
As you knelt on all fours, I spread our best linens over your back, smoothing them over your shoulder blades, those remnants of wings.
You were too short for chairs so we sat around you on telephone books and dictionaries. You preferred it that way, sitting on top of stacks of words.
Our plates sloped towards us, leaning away from your spine. We built walls of potatoes to stop the peas from rolling away.
And your heart beat sent ripples across the surface of our wine. I pulled myself in close, bumping my knees against your ribs, and felt the heat of your body on my thighs.
We ate in silence, looking only occasionally at the old oak table, its underside, unvarnished and still rough.
When the others weren’t looking I fed you my radishes and you kissed my fingers.