( a love poem to my fellow poets)
By Annie Farnsworth

I want to read what you’ve written,
all of it up until now, and
I would like to read your traffic jam,
your broken shoelace.   Don’t leave out
the short-change, the oil change,
the change of scenery.
I would like to read what you write
when you are lonely and even the tiniest bones
of your hand ache in their own remembrance
of another hand held.
Don’t be alarmed,
but there are things your grocery list
is saying behind your back.
There are furtive scrawls
on the back of your matchbooks, secrets
in both of your palms.

I read somewhere the average person
walks three miles, just in the course
of daily room-to-room, car to bank,
doorstep to mailbox.   Shuffling on the line
at the Shop ‘n Save.   I’m thinking what if
if I could get high enough, maybe
in a helicopter, and look down,
like those archeologists
who plot out the crop circles, photograph
the giant hieroglyphs
on dusty South American plateaus,
I could look down on your day and surely
this movement, these three miles of looping,
of backtrack and straight shots, would spell something out,
would tell me more tell me more tell me more.
You just keep walking those big words, honey,
and I’ll be studying
for my pilot’s license.   In the meantime
I will be the one with the gypsy scarves,
swirling the cup when you’ve finished
the tea.  I’ll be the fingertips
tracing your braille,
looking for lines I can read between.

Funny. cynical?
fall 2007

The messy list
january 2008