poetry / reading / Relationships / Uncategorized

Revisiting the Hermitage: Questions & Answers After Reading “Sanctuary” by Jean Valentine

Past midnight; the gravitational pull inside the hour pushing into the next day. I am tired; knees buckle.  I cannot say that I am trapped in the “Sanctuary” , a poem by Jean Valentine because I can straighten myself up and walk forward and away. But the address of “you” is too inviting and I am drawn to respond because “I don’t know how to talk to you” either.

—What is it like for you there? (line 2)

Hollow; a brief correspondence residing in the lack. Try to under-
stand when I cannot. 

What are you afraid of? (line 8)

The beauty I am not nor ever will be; the one I am
not; the darker pieces of each inked grapheme smudged:
a single unit dangles on the ledge of a capital L.

What happens when you die? (line 10)

What happens if I live?

What is it like there, right now? (line 16)

Selfish, defiant. Jealousy is a constant simmer, spitting
tiny eruptions, burning the skin.

What do you dread? (line 19)

Getting lost in the timber.

What happens when you die? (line 20)

The world is quiet.

What do you dread, in this room, now? (line 21)

The lingering mistakes resting beneath eraser marks.



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