Clear Katharyn Howd Machan
He writes a poem about the way that salt
still lingers on his tongue beyond the fact
that love’s dissolve was vaguely no one’s fault,
unspoken, undefined, an unnamed act
that left two people wondering how night
could slip away from soft shared summer sheets
and never say goodbye as morning light
glanced up with questions only fear repeats.
How to express experience too few
will understand? The subtle turns, the ways
society defeats the touch that two
men or two women bring each other’s days?
He reads of salt, so simple, common, strong—
how normal not to hear him, and how wrong.
Katharyn Howd Machan
, Professor of Writing at Ithaca College in central New York, holds degrees from the College of Saint Rose, the University of Iowa, and Northwestern University. Her poems have received many awards and have appeared in numerous magazines and in anthologies and textbooks such as The Bedford Introduction to Literature
, The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2013
, Poetry: An Introduction
, Early Ripening: American Women’s Poetry Now
, Sound and Sense
, Writing Poems
, and Literature: Reading and Writing the Human Experience
. The most recently published of her 32 collections are Wild Grapes: Poems of Fox
(Finishing Line Press, 2014—first runner up in national contest), H
(Gribble Press, 2014—national winner) and When She’s Asked to Think of Colors
(Palettes & Quills Press, 2009—national winner). Former director of the national Feminist Women’s Writing Workshops, Inc., she edited Adrienne Rich: A Tribute Anthology
(Split Oak Press, 2012).
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