Monday 5 August 2013

3 Poems by Tom Howard


some word i read
that caught hold as i was moving
diagnosis and postmortem,
on my way back
through childhood
to here.

not who she was
or who she would be
(later on,
in memory)
but still lost, somewhere
in some upstairs bedroom
crowded with ghosts.

i didn’t know
there was a name for this place.

[This poem was originally published in Petrichor Machine (2012).]


i love you,
she lied.

but later,
some white night looking up into pools of
lazy darkness,
half-dreaming of locks and keys:
and yet
maybe once, couldn’t it have been
(he jiggles the lock)
that maybe once
(a tumbler falls)
yes once, she really maybe did.

or else
go back through some
pointless catalog
of misread smiles and
unilateral transcendences,
and unremember them.


she was saying something the whole time
that he couldn’t quite catch because
the wind was picking up
(from nowhere cloudless skies)
and the words
(some weightless valediction)
never reached him
but took off on their own,
and he watched them
sail away as he
lost her again,
thinking oh,
try not to
(the wind was picking up)
try not to
forget this.

[This poem was originally published in Petrichor Machine (2012).]


Tom Howard was born and raised in New Jersey (or as he likes to tell people, "Philadelphia"), and now lives in the Washington, DC area. His fiction and poetry have appeared most recently in Ampersand Review,
Atticus Review and Petrichor Machine. He's also the managing editor of a quarterly literary magazine, Northwind.

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