Shall I write it down for you?
Shall I squeeze it onto a page or two?
Emotions strained through a fragile brain,
transmutated into couplets and refrains:
a pretty poem for you, a recollected instance
of feeling – filtered at a disjunctive distance.

If I complete the transposition,
if through coldness I wrestle affection
into the thoroughly signified and phrased,
if I connote and suggest and insinuate:
will you grasp me then? Will I have shown
myself, will I have made myself known?

A hot pulse translated onto a static page,
warm and red and unmoving and staid,
slick feeling denoted by facile words –
heat cooled into instantiated forms.
Beauty glittering at a sickening remove:
vertigo downsized into poetic proofs.

If so shortened and so summarized, I
succeed in cruelly pouring myself dry –
will you then see what I try to mean?
Will you perceive the painful knots of dreams?
Or will the glossy cool reflect like glass,
and will you only see yourself at last?

Anne M. Carpenter