Kenneth Pobo teaches English at Widener University in Pennsylvania. His work has appeared in Colorado Review, Nimrod, Dalhousie Review, New Mexico Humanities Review, among others. His chapbook of poems, Yes: Irises, was published by Singular Press in 1992.
In the dark kitchen,
you say it's time for bed.
I don't speak.
Instead I get out a spiral
notebook, pour a glass of water,
and write all night long,
nothing dramatic, just long
rambling notes. The kitchen
understands, comforts like water
after running. I think of you in bed,
curled into a spiral,
beautiful, unable to speak
except in dreams which speak
clearly but not very long.
Over our house the spiral
galaxy's a star-baking kitchen.
Lonely, I feel like a riverbed
dry in August. I need a water
touch alone can't give, water
to nurture dry places. I won't speak
about this when you're out of bed.
Sometimes I long
to tell you things only the kitchen
hears or a spider plant's tender spiraló
again I spiral
into myself, dam up the water
and smell kitchen
spices. The page listens, can't speak;
that's why paper and I get along,
why words surprise like a bed
of roses. When I'm ready for bed
you're at work. We spiral
out from each other, take long
walks alone, night air like seawater.
Sometimes our silences speak
like bombs, but we have our kitchen
summit, go along with each other, water
spiraling down the sink, then speak
of going to bed but staying in the kitchen.