Spring 2015

Volume 10, Issue 1



Christian Anton Gerard Is Unable to Be Opaque


I’m kind of a Swayze aficionado.
I’ve seen Roadhouse and Dirty Dancing.

I’ve seen Ghost. I’ve cried because I’m a man.
I’ve always confused opaque with obsidian.

I once held a stone to the sun
as if the stone held secrets like her

blended eye-shadow, the shades of grey,
a classy elevator’s insides. Hold the door.

Hold that blink for one second longer.
The stone is a vessel.

Her eyes––something else entirely.
If an object is a memory system,

then her eyes cannot be objects,
windows for instance, as in

eyes are windows to the soul; what a crock.
Windows have crappy backstories.

Windows are for making space.
Eyes are not for making space.

Opaque pupils. Opaque desire, which
Swayze couldn’t keep opaque

because he smiled. Smiles are like eyes.
Describing smiles is something poets do.

And you’re a woman who smiles
so you’re indescribable. Maybe

when I say hello you'll think of the tradition––
poets describing smiles and

we can just go on smiling,
without pretense, unabashed smiling.

If there were words for this enigma,
I fear the words between us

would remain sentences, not
a kiss kissed in the palm,

the heart's breath, this poem, scattering
winged smiles over a taut line.

Try and say night's not a tin-can phone.
Do you hear the tin can ringing?

What stays in my ear is an orange tree in fall.
What stays in yours? Is it orange? Raining leaves?

The tree I told you of is orange and raining leaves.
It is how I want to talk.





Back to Top
Review Home


© 2015 Americana: The Institute for the Study of American Popular Culture