“Optimist” by Leonard Orr

Leonard Orr


Each time I vote, I pretend that this time
everything I hope for will take place, that
not only will everyone I vote for win,
but they will turn out more liberal than anyone
expected, that the evil half of the Supreme Court
will take a powder, wars will end, oil will die.
Every night, I visit your side of the bed
to pretend that you are just away for a moment,
it is warm from you and you will rush back to
place your head back on the pillow beside mine,
my nose nuzzling into your hair, to breathe you in,
my arms around you while you push sleepily
back into me, surrounded by my heat,
not fully waking by your brief absence,
and for some minutes I am whole again.

from Rattle #43, Spring 2014
Tribute to Love Poems

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Leonard Orr: “Around 2000, I assessed the poetry I had written up to that point and decided I needed to change direction completely, turning from the typical and impersonal. I resolved to write poetry about which I was passionate, and with a particular reader in my mind. I have kept this focus, and the device of direct address, ever since. My models in following this path include Sharon Olds and Pablo Neruda.”

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