by Matthew Hotham


after Lacan

It is the way the I moves across the page

I realized how often I speak about whether

when in the first place I wrote you

This is how a conversation begins

It is everywhere, like a tic of self-

talk of the tragic loss of glaciers

effacement, as if to conjure absence

December and no need for sweaters

wobbly pillars propped up by adjacence,

and/span> yet my body cannot abide

consonance, or other toys of ear

the humidity of a snowless winter

I hope you read this aloud to catch

each flake dissolving before it touches ground




If I had known I would find you here

in this empty house
on the floor of a room

breathing out words like heavy sighs
in a language only
for the flowered wallpaper,

my own words
would have been more
well-behaved, and cautious.

I would not have let them
shatter windows, play on roofs
and rain slicked boulders.

I would have caught them
before they fell and broke
their legs against your heart.

MATTHEW HOTHAM's poems have been published in Salt Hill, Meridian, Copper Nickel, Third Coast, 32 Poems, Harpur Palate, and Stone Canoe, among others. His chapbook, Early Art, was published by Turtle Ink Press in 2006. He is currently Editor-in-Chief of the Carolina Quarterly and a PhD student in the Department of Religious Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill.



return to Issue Fourteen