Platonic Ode

With you, hushed pal, in hideous library atrium in winter. Your winter not my hypothermia, your changed-topic hush not my silent treatment, your engine not my station. Thank you, powerless chum, maybe I’m sorry? Only a leather couch we sit on, not the blood ox skinned for it, only the army of bookworms murmuring through metal detectors and not a pack for a lover to cut a rival from. Returned volumes thud in their aluminum bin: not a crypt. No references to leapers from the balcony who’ve expired on these tiles, weather’s our only prophecy. Scrubbed of metaphors, your equable glance tells me zilch about gore absorbed from a floor or face. Ally whose exit never cracked the ticker, no one I know’s violence gets stored up to make spring’s rising temps, relationship’s put out-eyes, lit’s scorched Petrarchan martyrs. Pulp bibles and best cellar gods, how will you ward off my fever and braille?

Michael Tyrell is a poet living in New York. His poems have appeared in Agni, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, and The Yale Review. With Julia Spicher Kasdorf, he edited the anthology Broken Land: Poems of Brooklyn.