Three Poems for Suzy, by D. R. James

Infatuation Reconsidered,
This Time Right from the Start

Later, after I’ve surely stopped thinking about her
in the form of more than every other fleeting focus

all my working days and goofy nights – pick up the kids,
her, this student’s murky thesis, her, that student’s

mother’s cancer, her, taxes due, her, call her, her,
be with her now, always, her, will I always be with her?

Her! – will it be because, like the few other drifting
and single significant others, she, too, will have gone,

moved on, or I’ll have moved on, again, perhaps another
ambush I can’t imagine? Or because, together, content,

I will no longer have to wonder, its relaxed advantage
the unselfconscious vocabulary of forever: partner,

safety, ease, familiar-but-still-thrilling body, whose
cleansed or sweaty fragrance remains the perfect one?

And will I miss this current state of sensory inundation,
of cognitive befuddlement— this state of downright awe?

	– first published in Since Everything Is All I’ve Got
		(March Street Press, 2011)

You Ignited Me

You ignited me, all my dried branches:
your perch an aperture up love’s lattice,
your wind rending me kindling, spinning and
snapping and ruining my stalks like slats
blastified, remnants of sadness then set
afire. How cowed by coma commitment
I’d been! But likewise you replanted me,
reinstalled me in watered cavities,
encased my re-emerging sheaves, ashen
indication of demise enlivened.

	– first published in Rogue Agent
All Her Jazz
after W. C. W. 

My striking wife
is the cat’s strut –

cello sass
with a syncopated

escalator to

these languid feet –
Bet yer bottom

her fleet laugh
‘s enough to please.

giv’er the day

and watch’er de-roost –
She quakes my phase-y

ass with tympani –
Scoot it, Jimmy!

Ev’body else

and me –
We bop to it.

	– first published in Third Wednesday

D. R. James‘s latest of nine collections are Flip Requiem and If god were gentle (Dos Madres, 2020, 2017) and Surreal Expulsion (Poetry Box, 2019). His micro-chapbook All Her Jazz is free, fun, and printable-for-folding at Origami Poems Project, and a new collection, Mobius Trip, is due out in 2021-22 (Dos Madres). He lives in the woods near Saugatuck, Michigan.

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