• Lynn Hoffman

Lynn Hoffman, five poems


Aphrodesia

if you say it fast is sounds

like you’re partitioning a

small former African colony.

Half Rhodesia

Which half do you fancy?

the long and winding Rhode,

or the half that puts you at esia?

she’s good in bed

in new england once, she listened

to the crickets, to the mice

to her father and his uncle,

to the police and to the crowd.

and now she listens

to the wind and the traffic

and to the soccer ball on

stones and walls and children’s feet

but there was a time she

listened to his breath

and breathed it back into him

with fire and tongues, oh

tongues of flame.

i wonder

what was that thing i said

that edge i brought

what was that bit of throat

that i didn’t see

what was the gate you shut

before you shut the gate?

Amnesia

you ask me to remember what you were like

before you loved me. you want to know how

you were and how it was different then.

“show me’, you say

“the texture of the land before the cloudburst.

did i touch your hand and look away?

did i have the heart of the hunter?

the eyes of the hunted”?

you know that you have changed

you know that the world and you are different now

you feel the wetness of all this love

and you have no image of yourself without it

you tap my memory’s shoulder

and ask me for the high and dry truth of you

as if the wave of you had not washed over me

as if i were not soaked and softened

as if i too were not astonished by the thunder.

when you are ready

when you are ready to call out for love

a man will make himself ears to hear you

he will beat scrap metal and chewing gum

into a horn to listen, just listen to you.

when you are ready to reach out for love

a man will weave a line from the shreds

of his own wounds and make a loop.

he’ll throw it just to reach you.

when you are ready to open your self to love

a man will come digging, smelting,

pounding and forging a key that fits, just fits.

and when you think that this is more love

than could ever be, more than you could swallow

a man will turn to you and ask

how he could love you more.

Lynn Hoffman is a cook and a writer. His recent books include Radiation Days:a comic memoir, and Short Course in Beer. He lives in Philadelphia and loves shaggy black dogs.


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