Poems for Lonely Exes


Poems for Lonely Exes
We all have to be in that lonely place before we make a move to find someone.

Here are more poems we've shared with some of the people we've worked with; men and women who have recently broken up with their lovers or broke up a long time ago and haven't yet recovered.

Like the poems we selected for our earlier post, Poems to Love Smarter, these fall into the second of the three categories of things Joseph Campbell wrote about in The Power of Myth: 1) The things that can’t be talked about, 2) The words we use to describe the things that can’t be talked about, and 3) The boring blah blah we inflict on each other every day.

By George Bilgere, from The Good Kiss,
The University of Akron Press.

When you’ve been away from it long enough,
You begin to forget the country
Of couples, with all its strange customs
And mysterious ways. Those two
Over there, for instance: late thirties,
Attractive and well-dressed, reading
At the table, drinking some complicated
Coffee drink. They haven’t spoken
Or even looked at each other in thirty minutes,
But the big toe of her right foot, naked
In its sandal, sometimes grazes
The naked ankle bone of his left foot,
The faintest signal, a line thrown
Between two vessels as they cruise
Through this hour, this vacation, this life,
Through the thick novels they’re reading,
Her toe saying to his ankle,
Here’s to the whole improbable story
Of our meeting, of our life together
And the oceanic richness
 of our mingled narrative
With its complex past, with its hurts
And secret jokes, its dark closets
And delightful sexual quirks,
Its occasional doldrums, its vast
Future we have already peopled
With children. How safe we are
Compared to that man sitting across the room,
Marooned with his drink
And yellow notebook, trying to write
A way off his little island.

by André Anthony Moore,
New York City, November 2004

Fresh from her afternoon nap,
she’d sit at the dining table,
grading her children’s work books,
preparing the next day’s lesson.
I’d sneak looks at her from the solitary sofa,
bewildered, wondering at her simplicity,
as she worked the children’s papers,
Anastasia purring sweetly on her knees.
It eluded me how she attained such pure felicity,
that sweet, delicious, gentle girl,
now become my revere.

You Must Accept
by Kate Light in Gravity’s Dream: New Poems and Sonnets,
West Chester University Poetry Center.

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