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aurora borealis

Between alarms, she stirs, sighs, and tells you
she's been having those dreams again.
Her breath on your chest is a blast furnace.
For nine minutes – exactly – you feel
the weight of her on your neck.
When the alarm sounds again,
you know it is no use to move,
but you must.
It is a short but aching cold voyage
from the bedroom to the coffeemaker,
and some mornings – ones like these –
the transit feels like twenty-three years.
In the darkness beyond the basket, the filter,
and five spoonfuls of awful Robusta you brew
like an insane penance, or purging,
you remember all the things she doesn't:
sharp words with a waiter.  A broken cellphone.
Wan smiles all around,
a wet kiss for a stranger on an elevator,
and as your coffee burbles and sighs into its carafe,
rippling in the weak light of a snowy five a.m.,
you set your coffee cup aside;
it is one of a set,
but solitary still,
and quiet.

16 Feb 07

(define the words in this poem)
(24 more poems by this author)

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oh wow, first i've read of yours in ages.. you draw the reader in so well, i feel all of those 23 years.  

i don't quite get the connection with the title, but i shall think on it some more :)
 — unknown

hi mikki.

beautiful poem.

some suggestions, if you would consider.

for line 3, do you think this would work?

'her breath - a blast furnace on the chest

i think line 7 is weak. also, if you decide to keep it as is, should it be 'there' isntead of 'it'?

in line 9
'aching cold' threw me off just a little bit. i think maybe you could try and invert 9/10?

i thought you might need 'the' at the beginning of line 14. but i re-read it, and i think the 'the' from line 13 flow fine. maybe you could rid line 15 of the comma after penance?
i think 17-19 need to be together, separated by commas, as they are. but you could do with a full stop at the end of 19? and then, no 'and' at the beginning of 20?

thanks. hope i'm not out of my skin with these.
 — varun

i was thinking

'borealis' is too scientific, almost too cold for this cold poem. and perhaps this was your intention?
 — varun

unknown, thanks.  I haven't meant to be so absent, I've just spent more of the winter culling & revising poems for an MFA application than I've spent writing new poems.  Here I'm particularly happy with the first two lines, and glad you were drawn in enough to continue reading.

varun, thanks again.  This morning line 7 ("you know it is no use to move") does look a lot crunchier than it did when it first hit the page.  I'll see what I can do with it.  I'll also look at lines 9/10 ("It is a short but aching cold voyage/from the bedroom to the coffeemaker"); I probably won't invert it (me feeling that the "voyage" is more important than the destination) but the "short but aching cold" is a bit off, and I think I can come up with something you might like better.  Thanks again.

The title, well... I thought "Aurora" might be good (Aurora being the goddess of the dawn) but besides there already being a poem with that title on PC, I thought it tied in subtly with the Valkyrie myth... maybe a little bit overwrought for a quiet poem, but for now, I have nothing better.

 — mikkirat