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Two Poems
Shari Caplan
Writer of the Month

How Do I Love Thee?

  1. For instance, forsythia catch April on fire and this is when babies learn the color yellow and adolescent girls carry their new chests like medals, momentarily. By May, the fuss has diffused and branches shiver without flower while dumb daffodils gab and lilacs diva the garden.
  2. As the number five dotes on ten, thinking she’d like to be twice as much. But then again, why does he carry a whole circle of empty?
  3. As a shop-o-holic loves the internet (invisible box where secrets can snivel, rubbing their hands together and meeting others with the same problem). Is it buying you crave, or returning?
  4. Like an object loves gravity.
  5. When the particular becomes the theoretical stings stop winging open and the wound settles. You become memory. However, upon an overhead conversation about said particular, the theoretical re-enters the room. Many hypotheses spring about my mind like loosed toys.
  6. The same is true when a hand is mistaken for your hand. I am caught with my pocket-watches open and all of their faces are your face.
  7. My dad says tinsel was once made of glass, which attracted but pricked him as a child. This is how I love you, as one drawn to fabricated cheer only to nurse a blood-dotted hand. I sulk but stare at the twinkling weapon. Each year, the charade.
  8. What does the day-dream think of the dreamer? My love for you is one of these two.
  9. As a dog loves his own shit, smelling of the past.
  10. Like an abandoned home. You would never know by looking at me that scaffolding was left unfinished, that a lone poster was not hung but greens in the corner with a tack in its back, that the plans are still papering the floor, and while there is no door, you can always find your way in.

How Doth Thou Love Me?

  1. My mom thinks you are a pearl on a string of emeralds, but she has never met you.
  2. That’s not true. She has met you, but you were wearing the white Marilyn dress and bubbling writer-juice. You do well in front of a crowd.
  3. Every girl wants to meet a nice man and have fun with me.
  4. Do I deserve to be a ferris wheel? At the top, you jam the ride so you can hold the air that’s highest in your lungs.
  5. Cars come in many models. Only drive one for the rest of your life? (I know a woman’s not a vehicle, but how else can I say it?).
  6. Like the first bicycle before I knew how to ride or even if I would get a bicycle at all.
  7. Like bricks to ivy. Bricks are attractive on their own, but grow some green and no one can look without sighing.
  8. Listen, honey. No, I mean stop listening. You listen so well my mouth runs.
  9. A river has its rhythm of freeze and thaw. The fish don’t mind, the grass don’t make a fuss, the sun leaves it be. It’s not natural to be always hot and stuck together.
  10. What does the day-dream think of the dreamer? My love for you is one of these two.

Shari Caplan is the author of “Advice from a Siren” (Dancing Girl Press). Her work can be found at Zoetic Press, is forthcoming from Blue Lyra Review and Deluge and has earned her a scholarship to The Home School in Hudson, NY as well as a grant for the Vermont Studio Center. Caplan has worked on The VIDA Count, as a reader for Sugar House Review, and as co-editor of Soundings East. She received her MFA in Poetry from Lesley University.