“Said” by Perie Longo

Perie Longo


He woke up thinking what he said she said
or was it she said he said
or each didn’t say
the other said
and he said I didn’t say that and she said you did
you said it screaming so loud the children
ran into the street
neighbors shut their windows
and he said you’re always twisting my words
but there were no words other than
it goes on like this gathering saids
to set the record straight
the past stacking up like fallen boulders they could never
unaware as soon as something is
said it is
unless she says remember
when you said and he says it’s not
what you think I said
you misunderstood or else wanted me
to mean what you imagined
so you could correct me
we can’t go on like this
but they do all the saids etched
on their faces
until they don’t recognize each other
and she says
I hope you are happy now
and he says
about what

from Rattle #34, Winter 2010


Perie Longo: “Rarely, first words of a poem drift into consciousness from the fog of sleep and before coffee, and I write them down. Watching the poem grow from under the pale light of day is a gift that gives we poets supreme joy. Such is the way of ‘Said,’ perhaps a result of years of listening to couples speak to each other in therapy with a dab of my own history. I love the way poetry clears the air.” (web)

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