Poem with a Guitar
for Jason

posted Apr 23, 2013

I read Ray Charles once said there wasn't a song he couldn't ruin. You once said I'm the monkey of this dance, captain of this crew. That's about right: all our moments slip into self-indulgent snickers and rolling eyes, laughter and easy stillness. Everything begins to sound the same. Fingertip caressing an empty bottle's lip; squeal of skin up steel strings, the whisper that fits just barely between notes. A woman's silence on the line; flies whipping warm air and kissing the surface like light cresting from below. Everything comes together. Once, my eyelids holding against sleep, your words measuring the distance, you told me you could settle down alone, fly-fishing and golf. Then you fell ass-backwards off your chair and dropped the phone—there is no moment that can't be ruined and laughed at. It's never what we say but how everything comes together. Some people come and never go. And everything begins again to sound the same.

Brian Simoneau's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Boulevard, Cave Wall, The Collagist, Crab Orchard Review, DIAGRAM, The Georgia Review, North American Review, Salamander, and other journals. His work also appears in Two Weeks: A Digital Anthology of Contemporary Poetry. Originally from Lowell, Massachusetts, he lives in Boston with his wife and their two young daughters.

Simoneau’s poem “Some Things I've Never Done and Never Will” also appears in this issue.