‘Til Tonight


We lie beneath the jaden branches
on a blanket in the shade.
I take her hand and take my chances,
hoping she is unafraid.

And steadily, the hush is broken
by the pulses in my spine.
The loudest words are left unspoken
as our fingers intertwine.

Impossibly, she inches nearer,
never loosening her grip.
My heart sees hers inside a mirror…
beads of perspiration drip.

No mystery that I am nervous:
feel my sharp, staccato breath.
My train of thought is not in service,
save for dreading sudden death.

I kiss her forehead with affection
and for once, my soul is filled.
Two people with a strong connection
cannot limit what they build.

And we are weightless for a second,
floating high above the tree.
“Now, this is paradise,” I reckoned,
looking upwards at the sea.

© Kaleb Pier, 2014


“Looking upwards at the sea” is a great gift of perspective for the end of this poem. To me, the picture you paint is looking DOWN on the two, beginning with “we lie beneath the jaden branches”. As the connection between the two is built, the view is lateral — taking hands, fingers intertwining, inching nearer. Then, the impression is downward again as  “beads of perspiration drip”.  It’s quite a parallel experience as intensity grows with connection, until — some sort of transcendence occurs. In the end, I felt the two rising to the sky, but no! They are actually “looking UPWARDS at the sea”! So what I perceived at the first reading — that they were ‘above’ the sea — is actually quite the opposite at the second! They have actually submerged. Well, that is unless the “sea” they are looking at is the stars. Well. That’s quite a change in perspective… An excellent use of positional exposition here.

Katherine Michaels