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From Second Street

From Second Street


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Published by Katherine Wilke
A collection of eleven poems written of the course of two years. Some are about love and the different forms it takes. Some are about how your place on this earth shapes you. Others are about the feelings we sometimes cannot name.
A collection of eleven poems written of the course of two years. Some are about love and the different forms it takes. Some are about how your place on this earth shapes you. Others are about the feelings we sometimes cannot name.

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Published by: Katherine Wilke on Jul 31, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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from second street

poems by katherine wilke

1. it’s funny how things can change in the span of two yearsseven hundred and thirty days or snow or rain or sunshine (but usually snow) and how somewhere can move around in your heart from love to hate to back again it can be at one time home and at another just a place to pass through or sometimes sitting in between, a bittersweet longing for a place you don’t want to be for people you don’t want to see. 2. he reads poetry and it makes me fall in love i think it’s his voice and the way he holds those words in his mouth like some hold a baby.

3. if you wanna know the truth, really, i knew everything before it even happened, the second you opened your mouth and your name spilled out

i knew i was going to fall and it was going to be more than scraped knees and bruised elbows but it would be easier to stop time than not fall, so i didn’t even try and i’m pretty sure you know when i should have let go i held on tighter, keeping every word, every glance like rope in the palm of my hand hey, i’ll admit you were right in the end and i’d be lying if i said i hadn’t known all along but i thought we could give it a shotguess not.

4. you were just really friendly, kinda cute, and the first thing you did was offer me pineapples. really. seriously? who keeps canned pineapples in their dorm room? so obviously i couldn’t forget youaren’t you glad i didn’t?

5. okay, so i wanted you to see me dancing with someone else, but i didn’t want you to get mad and storm off i wanted you to get mad and come over and dance with me, but you didn’t.

so i had to follow you out of the dance hall and yell at you like a crazy person but thank God you heard me and stopped and i caught up and we went back to your dorm room to have a couple drinks then we made out for a long time-the whole night except for when people were there because they were all partying and wanted to meet your girl so we just up and left after a while went for a walk and found ourselves at the park and it was really nice to be there alone with you, to slide down into your arms to watch the sunrise still a little drunk but happy like i’d never been before.

6. i apologize for the theatricals. i was drunk, but denying it proclaiming my sobriety from the tabletops, half-

empty bottle in hand -ok, maybe i’m a bit tipsybut you knew better and brought me down and i broke down: [i’m going to die after i spit this up (no you aren’t. you’ll be fine) i should drink every night to empty my stomach (don’t talk like that. you know you aren’t having any fun) just let me go, i’m oh so sleepy (this cold water should fix that) ]

i’m sorry you had to hold my hair back and listen to me cry had to coax me into the shower just to save me. i apologize for the theatricals, for the circus, but if i could love the world as

much as you loved me then, it would be worth it.

7. there was an old man who quoted shakespeare and never married but courted eloquence and loved wisdom more than breathing. 8. i take her out for smoke breaks whenever i have the chance mainly because she is a pretty great conversationalist she asks about our entertainment (male strippers, i hope)

and tells me all about the time lawrence welk came to town (everyone was there) and comments about all the city noise (lots of traffic around these parts) i take her out for smoke breaks whenever i can because the smoke doesn’t bother me at all, and besides, i’m not going to let a little second-hand smoke ruin my chances of hearing a ninety year old tell a dirty joke.

9. it’s going to storm you said and not two minutes later God opened the floodgates of heaven and while everyone else was scrambling to get inside, we kissed and danced and splashed and yelled i love you over the sound of rain hitting

the pavement. 10. there’s this sound i love but i can’t explain the name of itit reminds me of the ocean even though i’m so far inland i hear it on windy days walking to the student center from chemistry lab and i walk on the path with all of the flags flying and the wind just plays with them tossing them around it’s a good sound like opening a bottle of coca cola or scraping spaghetti onto your fork like this sound is promising everything is going to be okay. 11. when we would roll the windows down to feel the bite in the air secretly simultaneously happy that summer was ending and dreading winter but this in-between was nice, it smelled like pumpkins and fresh cut grass and also like your laundry detergent and i thought

forever could be found on that single road a stop sign, a red light, another stop sign and back again it was particularly beautiful in autumn because the trees were turning red and orange and gold and we were all still motivated and excited about the reading assignments our professors gave us and later i think it bothered me that i never was able to pin down exactly what i was feeling that afternoon but i think

it was something in-between just like everything else and i know it’s between love and a different kind of happiness a sort of contentment with life because that has always been my problem discontent with being happy and there was a poem about that i read once and it stuck with me just like that thursday afternoon and i think that’s when things shifted and i decided to let myself be happy and it was really weird because the more i thought about it the more it seemed like maybe that was the name of the thing that feels like one of those thursday afternoons in autumn and to think it took me eighteen years almost exactly to realize it is pretty sad but then i think how many more times before i’d just never recognized it and basically how much you make me feel happy and how much i wish there was a different word for it

because it doesn’t seem nearly enough.

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