Like Hemingway, if I talk about it
all the words are lost to the air.
What you do, Bobby said, is good
if you feel good afterward,
or was that the sexuality of morality?
I can’t remember what I don’t know.
I can’t write what I don’t remember.
If I’m not there who is? what happens?
I can’t even invent convincingly.
Hemingway made you think he could
because you believed
you were there where everyone was
in a story that survived its making.
Maybe, Bobby said, I should talk it out
to learn if it’s worth the effort
to wait for the words to reach the paper.
I can’t even convince myself
I shouldn’t throw away what little
I’ve kept with the kindling by the hearth.
Anna said, Why don’t you call Melindra
Collins, that beauty you call Lovely?
You should marry her, be happy
in your chosen agony.
Bobby said, I should have married
my clarinet. Paul admonished,
Stop thinking like Hemingway.
(13 February 2012)
copyright 2012 by Floyce Alexander