“It Would Take” by Richard Donnelly

Richard Donnelly


it would take a long time for me to love

I would see you thrown from that office and then
you would have to get a job a real
job a low job

something physical
something that broke your nails if not
your will

no more coffee from the company china your
famous red lipstick
on your famous white cup
I’d see you drink from styrofoam
like the rest of us

I’d strip you of your friends

you can stay in a cheap apartment for once
throw away your high heels no
keep those

and when you call me I can be very cruel I won’t
make promises
I’ll think about it

because it’s going to take time
you’re going to have to stop shaving your body
wash with plain soap
give up on the salon and the streaks
and blond highlights
and if there’s grey good

because I want you to suffer no that’s not

I want the opposite I want you to finally become
yourself you said you want to
feel I’ll show you how to feel

but first meet me halfway

meet me at the Powderhorn Park Library in South
Minneapolis and keep
your voice down

there are real people here

wear a scarf an old coat and come over here
between the shelves
where we can see the street
at night and the snow just begun to fall

put your arms around me
I’ll show you how to feel but first you must feel
first yourself and then me

from Rattle #37, Summer 2012


Richard Donnelly: “I write poems for the pleasure it gives me. And hopefully, the pleasure it might give the reader. When I finish a poem it’s like finishing a cold martini, up, with a single olive. There’s a little kick, a feeling of expansiveness, of pleasure. I can do this all night, one after the other. Writing poems, that is. With martinis, it’s wise to stop at one.” (web)

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