Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Steve Grossi's 5 Words

It's Different Than Mine

I sat with an old friend
grazing on thoughts--
at the time they were future plans.
Back when repeated themes
in my works were uncommon.
He told me that day--
way up on that broken fence
post--that he loved me.
Then I told him to go
and be a chef
by the ocean.
On our drive home--
long after the sunset,
our cigarettes
became butts and ash,
but before our dreams were real
and large,
scary and welcoming--
I ran my car
right into a mountain.
And we laughed together.
But I don't think
the alphabet ever stopped
writing itself on the backs
of my eyelids.
In his drive way, we talked
about philosophers, but not really
knowing much except that truth
is perspective.
I realize now--
what I didn't then--
that's just common knowledge.
Then we kissed
that single time.
Never before and never since.
I giggle now
because the next year--
while he sauteed and reduced wine--
I learned Plato's concept of platonic love.
It's different than mine.

9 comments:

Steve said...

I'm abashed to say that after giving you my five words I had forgotten to check back and see what you'd done with them. But I'm also delighted by the idea that for the last year and a half my five words have been living here--having grown by your hand into something whole--for me to rediscover.

What resonates most with me is the thought "that truth is perspective...that's just common knowledge." This poem is about growing up and looking back, and part of growing up (at least for me) has been learning that the groundshaking philosophical truths I was once so excited to learn, and which I thought made me so smart, may just be things everyone else has come to accept and move on from. And that last line, "it's different than mine", isn't that what growing up is? The process of colliding with other minds? Some ideas, some parts of yourself even, survive that collission and some don't. That's the key thing I think you've captured in this poem: a kind of nostalgia--tempered by necessity--for the things we lose when we bump into other lives.

Anyway, thank you for pointing me to this. I'm so glad I finally got to read it.

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