Tell me how do you manage to do that, also, with all those other people.
It’s beyond my power to imagine.
You with another lover,
holding him like you once held me.
It isn’t like we had a great love either.
We were barely more than friendly.
At times I hated seeing your face.
Before me I can almost understand.
You didn’t know about me then.
You were victim of a wretched ignorance.
But after? I can’t get my head around it.
It’s like telling me the sky is now red.
Or Martians control the U. S. Marines.
And then to realize that the first guy
is no longer the only guy,
but one guy of many,
all of whom heard you do that throat thing
A regular parade you’re having there,
marching bands, dancing oysters, jugglers,
maybe even Santa Claus got in a night.
Still, I can’t really imagine it,
even as I have held others,
held them so tightly I cracked ribs,
though my parade is more like a squad
of determined volunteers lost in a hospice,
searching for the sick man who sleeps
in a cold room, on some long forgotten bed.
James Valvis is the author of WHAT EXACTLY IS A VALVIS? (Night Ballet Press, 2013). His poems or stories have appeared in Arts & Letters, Barrow Street, Chiron Review, LA Review, Natural Bridge, Ploughshares, River Styx, The Sun, and many others. His poetry has been featured in Verse Daily. His fiction was chosen for the 2013 Sundress Best of the Net. In 2014 he was awarded a King County 4Culture Grant for the Arts. A former US Army soldier, he lives near Seattle.