Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Three Poems by Daniel von der Embse

Play for me please
something from memory,
known by heart, yet imagined
for the first time as if
the wound were fresh
Play for me a song broken,
a melody left open, tossed
onto the side of the road
waiting for the next one
Please play it slow and
loud, and torture the music
so that every dropped note
is heard like shattered glass
each one felt against the skin
And when you are done
pick up the notes and set them
by the door to play again when
the next one comes, the same request
as if the wound were fresh

Roller coaster
Words drink too much,
turn the conversation
into broken glass –
brittle, bloody
Some careless thing
gets held onto,
an act once shaken off,
Becomes unforgiveable
the riding up and down
becomes too much
and we resolve there’s no use,
That’s when tears come,
feeling that unhappy together
is more bearable
than miserable apart
We have learned
how to make room
for each other
on the roller coaster,
to keep our places,
hold onto our seats,
so that we might learn
to love the ride

As when you were here
In the house I keep
to remind me of you,
I wait for your return
to bring life back into the room
Your hair never cleaned
from the sink or your scent
lost from the bed, everything suspended
since you went away
On the table, the linens
brought back from Italy
soften the hardness of miles traveled
before we rested here
The front door kept unlocked
for you to enter without a knock,
nothing that could delay you
from rushing back to me
The creak of the hinges pitched
exactly as when you were here,
nothing changed
but the counting of the years

Daniel von der Embse was born and raised in Mansfield, Ohio, educated in Catholic schools, and graduated from Ashland University with a B.A. degree in Theatre. He began writing poetry after a four-decade career as a copywriter for advertising agencies in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, and Salt Lake City. His poems appear The Missing Slate, Across The Margin, Harpoon Review, Decanto, Poetry Pacific, and Poetry Quarterly.

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