Poems of Place & Displacement

In This City of Hermits

I have rented a room at the Venus de Milo Arms
and wait for you to call my disconnected number,
though my answering machine is out of answers.

In the evenings, I wander Agoraphobics Mall,
thinking once I saw you in a chorus of mimes
serenading a congregation of nihilists
with “The Spirit of Materialism.”

But it was only an evil innocent, imitating
your breathless air and disciplined slouch,
opening empty hands to indicate abundance.

It’s always the wrong bus at midnight,
but I climb on anyway, thinking it will take me
to where you must be hiding.
I have a tendency to confuse mass transit with fate.

Although I keep forgetting
to cancel my amnesia lessons,
I still feel, every morning,
your farewell kiss on my forehead.

Photo Credit:US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Copyright 2007,  Frederick Lord

Frederick (Rick) Lord is the Assistant Dean of Liberal Arts at Southern New Hampshire University. A collection of his poems, What I Made Instead of a Life, was published in 1996. A recent graduate of the MFA program at New England College, Lord lives in Hooksett, NH, with his wife, Heather.

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