“Poetry” by Marvin Artis

Marvin Artis


Right now we’re polyamorous. I’ve witnessed her
leaving our home in “come fuck me” heels. I told her
my only rule is that she doesn’t do it in our bed.
She suggested I watch her make love with someone else.
I’m not doing that. I have to find my own way with her.

The thing about Poetry is that she’s got a great ass
and great legs. Her curves show me the relationship between
calculus, geometry and sex. With her, I’m constantly
seeing the connections between things that look like
they have nothing to do with each other. I love her for that.

She recently told me that I’m beginning to bore her,
that she’s not sure we’re meant to be together, but
she said she’s trying to hang in there with me. I told her
that most of the time I don’t know where she’s coming from,
that she’s confusing and often all over the place.
She told me I was supposed to love her mystery.

I was frustrated, so I laughed, which I sometimes do
when I’m frustrated. She rolled her eyes and said she was the best
thing that ever happened to me. I told her she wasn’t open
to letting me be myself. She said she was plenty open,
that I was the one who was closed. She said I loved plopping
fences in rolling fields designed by nature to run naked in.

I told her she didn’t know who I was. I don’t know who you are?
Then tell me who you are, she said. But don’t preach to me
like I’m some kind of idiot. Speak to me like you know
I’ll understand you, and if I don’t understand you,
I’ll feel you. That’s why I’m here.

from Rattle #64, Summer 2019


Marvin Artis: “I think one of the things I’m most interested in, in poetry, is the opportunity to connect things that don’t appear to be connected. To bring my own disparate parts together and to also build that infrastructure internally, and then be able to apply that to my relationships with other people. The more connections I can find between disconnected things, the better my connections are with others.”

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