Poet and lyrical essayist Maria Nazos is the author of A Hymn That Meanders, published by Wising Up Press. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Florida Review, New Ohio Review, The Southern Humanities Review, Poet Lore, The Sycamore Review, and elsewhere. She is currently a doctoral candidate in English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She can be found on the web at marianazos.com.
The next time my friend calls,
fearing that thirty-five
is a whirlpool of un-loveliness,
instead of doodling listless
circles, or getting caught
in the centripetal force of honey,
you’re beautiful, I’ll pump wasted
breath into a hot air balloon.
See how lush the landscape when we rise
above our twenties? When I say,
Today, let’s live well, I don’t mean wearing
a headlamp for a once-bright future.
Not blinking like moles to greet wrinkles
in day lit mirrors, or picking up wounded
guys like bruised fruit, or pummeling
our livers as if testing a honeydew melon
for ripeness. I mean finding hope
in facial creases. Comfort
in our own silence. I’m talking about
not sitting on the phone, dragged south
by the corpse of past tense.
Let’s touch down lightly on a world
where the moon doesn’t compete
with the sun’s youthful heat.
Let’s wear a new dress of Important
into the empty street.
If I’m the only one who feels this way,
still I’ll pace between dawn
and dark, refusing sleep, until
the rest of us agree to rise
and come around.