Chloe N. Clark's work appears such places as Apex, Drunken Boat, Gamut, Hobart, Public Pool, and more. She teaches college composition and communication, writes for Nerds of a Feather and Ploughshares, bakes and tweets about it @PintsNCupcakes.

Chloe N. Clark

Other Words for Wanting

I held spring under my tongue for a week kept close as secrets like your name, like the color of your eyes when you are not you in my dreams Mud grabs my boots, holding me still for a second longer than I'm meant to be kept like you in the morning, with one arm across me, pretending to sleep still as if that alone will hold me Geese come back and hover over ice-licked ponds that haven't yet decided what form they want to keep — to hold or to give in like what I've wondered about when thinking what to tell you — here I am or you found me or I am yours Spring comes close enough for the wind to smell as rich as earth uncovered and held, I try to keep it in my lungs like the idea of you makes me try sometimes to not smile when I see you across a room I keep my face still, my gaze steady, until you are close enough to hold

I wrote this poem during this weird period in the Midwest of false-spring. Every spring I always feel strangely filled with longing — but I'm never sure for exactly what. It's an intense feeling and it always passes after that first edge of spring. But it was very disorienting to feel it in early February and completely out of place with my sense of seasons and time. So, I think that probably is a huge factor for this poem — a longing that's hard to place (and even harder to displace from oneself). I also wrote this poem in a way that always pleases me when I manage it. The first line came to me, very suddenly and forcefully, while I was waiting for the bus. I didn't want to miss my bus and I don't like writing on the bus, so I worked through the poem in my head, repeating it the entire ride home and then wrote it down as soon as I got into the apartment. So the writing of the poem sort of mimicked that feeling — a rush, a sense of needing to get something into words without knowing why.

Glass: A Journal of Poetry is published monthly by Glass Poetry Press.
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