you meant it. that’s what everyone says
about you. that you were perfect
for romantic movies because you were
romantic. I wonder what it must have been like
to be you: lover in the time of bones, time of blinds
closing, doors locked from the inside.
everyone says, romantic,
a word in a dead language,
a dull bullet on the tongue, cotillion of suffering
remembered only for the gowns,
their colors, amber, lilac, aqua, blood.
everyone says romantic
like it isn’t a job,
like it isn’t something you work at
like life doesn’t dive
into your chest and then just lie there
like a mildewed boutonnière.
I never planned to write this much
about you. I read your life story, twice,
squinting for your face in your distant light,
the honeycomb of sweetness passing back
and forth between two mouths, the lies
and the romance. how they fed each other.
how alike they were
there was the night you drove home
from an awards ceremony, and walking
up the path to the back door, you found the dog,
giving birth, and so you helped her deliver
a litter of puppies.
you bundled them in your tuxedo jacket,
carried them inside, with boyhood glow.
the farm still lived inside of you,
the tiny mouths rooting for milk.
ten times more than the moth-dusted star,
it is this man that I want to pull
into the world, again.
Born and raised in Hartwood, Virginia, Sean Patrick Conlon grew up in a house that was
once a Civil War hospital, and was believed to be haunted. As a boy, Sean lifted up the
rug to show his friends where the blood from wounded soldiers had stained the wooden
floorboards. Now, he writes poems.