T.S. Ellis

Poems by Thomas Sayers Ellis

A Kiss In The Dark

All Their Stanzas Look Alike

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  T.S. Ellis

A Kiss In The Dark

In our community everything was kept quiet,
behind closed doors. When dogs got stuck
it was because one was hurt and the other
was a friend, helping it homeójust like a friend.
Once Reverend Gibson ran from the church
with a bucket of hot water, and when it separated them,
they sang. Thatís why it was such an event,
a mistake equivalent to sin, when my parents
left their bedroom light on, door open.

Mistakes are what gave light to that tiny apartment
darkness tried to conquer. And imagination,
how there had to be more to it than
the quick & crude. He put it in and he took it out.

A naked bulb on the dresser next to where
they made me made them celebrities, giants, myth.
I watched their black shadows on the wall,
half expecting fade-out and something romantic
as the final scene of Love Crazy, my father
a suave William Powell, my motherís slender body
a backwards C in the tight focus of his armsó
close shot, oneiric dissolve and jump cut to years
before their separation and the arrival of hot water.



From THE MAVERICK ROOM (Graywolf Press, 2005)

 

 

 

 

 

 
         
    Poetry Center Reading:
    Fall 2009