Christopher Janke

house arms a face a
layer of the distance
shared with leaves

and the thing between
the leaves we could never                                 
have held holding

there was a zipper
and a balloon
and we woke

in the dream i used
to be having back
when i was a thing

having having
when i was
for you

a thing
a thing
to have







The poem is part of a series of poems obsessed with repetition and pronouns and are love poems written to my wife from my own perspective after I'm dead. The first of the series were inspired in part by the song "Things" by Frightened Rabbit. The poems also have "translations" that attempt to break down the opacity of the obsessive repetition and discussion of relationships into more common language, into a softer form, with a less distant stance to try to make the love poem a love poem. In a way the repetitions inherent in the series and in the "translations" admit of the defeat of the poems; each one a new stab at the love poem, a difficult form.