|Jul/Aug 2018 Poetry Special Feature|
Image courtesy of British Library Photostream
after Tony Hoagland
The other day in the hard beige center of a classroom,
up to my elbows in pale blue exam books,
summer break hovering over my hunched neck,
my thoughts drifted like a beetle in a backyard pool
to a friend I'd heard nothing from in months,
a man whose voice always verged on laughing.
At the exact moment I imagined him
moseying down his street 1,000 miles away,
my phone buzzed like a dragonfly
with eight words from him:
Got lost, thinking of you. That is all.
The timing, as if divinely designed,
seemed borrowed from a poem I'd memorized
years before, some sonnet's final couplet,
the lines I knew to recite slowest, savoring each syllable,
making sure I didn't take for granted the best part.