is a former Pushcart Prize nominee. She recently received word from
a Baltimore fan who had a passage from one of her [DeAnne's] poems
tattooed to her back. Comments are welcome via firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2005 DeAnne Smith
I'm A Voyeur
Give me a woman alone,
not measuring her gestures or
leveling the tone of her voice.
Best if she's flossing
or humming or calling the dog.
It's impolite, I know, to inch up to her sill,
senses outstretched, hoping to catch
an insignificant instant, yet
I can't resist an open window.
All I want is to see inside anyone
not me, imagine her joys come easy,
her griefs keen. I want to spy
the simplicity only strangers contain.
I'll even take a vacant room, a clean
absence. Air meant for other's
lungs is enough to thrill me,
flecks of dust floating, falling, glinting.
"Everything you can see...makes up only about five percent of the universe."
-Globe and Mail
Enough mystery fills the visible—
hairs smudged on my lover's shoulderblades,
a shade between unnoticed and gold—
in just this room, in this one time.
How can I be mindful of
unstarred darkness when light's
inexhaustible twists and tricks
continue to bewitch me?
How can years be measured in millions?
Seconds split exponentially.
(Inside: a breath, a beat, a
memory of what's coming.)
Let galaxies expand, axes cant.
Astronomers, scratch your heads
at ninety-five percent.
I'm booked through infinity
witnessing snowdrifts and boulders and zig-
zagging dragonflies; I'm busy with simple
miracles, staggered by a glimpse
into someone else's love-flecked eyes.
(purer than church
hush, wider than
the dusty quiet
of public libraries,
as intricately thick
as the stillness
lovers weave when
they're grunted and
shuddered past utterance)
is right now
cupped on my
twitching tongue, the
day's first taste
of all that
might be spoken,
a silence crying
to crack open.
All work is copyrighted property of DeAnne Smith.
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