Bio Note: Recently, I have been interviewed for both the Stockbridge, MA Library and the Hellenic American Project at Queens College, NYC. My most recent chapbook is “as a man in the moon”. I’ve also hosted 5 poetry venues over the years in Buffalo, N.Y.
When the time comes, Will we want to take off our masks? Poet Rachel Hadas I’m not ready to remove mine. I like that you have to work hard to understand my tone, read my eyes, wonder if we should hug, question if our hands should touch, continue along the path of not-quite-knowing which side of the wall we stand, or whether we will ever join forces. When the veil lifts and we’re all the same, I won’t be able to discern how strong you were during the immoral reign of a maskless face peering out of Pandora’s box. It makes me believe maybe I don’t need anyone to make me mindful and mouthless. These days, I still dream you wearing a disguise, dark eyes squinting, air-kissing my cheeks.
I left behind my life as a teacher, (can barely teach myself anymore) but watching you walk your dog and cat in tandem at 6 am in your pajama shorts is an advanced lesson in foreign verse. One of inspiration, spontaneity, form, and inflection. I imagine you reading Shelley, wonder how you might read the line: “soul meets soul on lovers’ lips”. When you pass by me close, cut through the vulnerable morning, you share the click of your Russian tongue as you recite loudly on speaker phone. It’s as if I’m sitting in the back of a classroom, and you are roaming between the rows, the teacher I can’t take my eyes off. Your laughter is your lesson, a gift not many offer up lately. Metered slap of your sandals match my old heart. It’s your attempt to teach me simple grammar, but baby, I ain’t nothin’ like Shelley.
©2022 Perry S. Nicholas
Editor's Note: If this poem(s) moves you please consider writing to the author (email address above) to say what it is about the poem you like. Writing to the author is what builds the community at Verse Virtual. It is very important. -JL