Wednesday Nov 29

Ann Townsend is the author of two collections of poetry, Dime Store Erotics and The Coronary Garden, and the editor of a collection of essays, Radiant Lyre: on Lyric Poetry (with David Baker). Dominic Consolo Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at Denison University, she also owns and operates Bittersweet Farm in Granville, OH.
            From His Car
he called me twice, filled the line
with his particular human sound,
irritating, yes, and meaningless
in the details. Hundreds
of vowel-consonant blends
were required in order to say it:
what pie he ate, how the office
grew cold in time with his typing,
how he wished to touch me,
and where. Pull over, I said. 
Driving in these circumstances
could not be prudent. Breath
was the conduit through which
his voice passed, and eased,
and evaporated. Sibilants, plosives,
the workings of his tongue and teeth,           
his jaw, what he said, how he said it –
living in the stream of it,
letting down the gate I raise
for every voice but his – oh Ann, he said. 
Even that swept over me.
The old bridle hanging from a hook
in the new barn.
Its seams frosted with mildew
from the rain.
A line of sweat at the cavesson.
In the corners of the bit,
the green alfalfa leavings.
I used to warm it
in my hand, those winter
afternoons, so her mouth
would taste me first.
Now another horse bobs
and ducks against my bridling.
Wants a peppermint.
Bites the hand
and will not jump the ditch,
shears at speed away
from the sudden plastic bag
in the field.
How sentimentally
the old leather reins hang,
draping no one’s neck.
Anne Townsend photo by Billy Delfs