by Carl Boon

They will have unstitched the flowers
from your collar, edited my name
toward a sad misspelling. We won’t recognize
each other nor the rooms in which we danced,
made love. New curtains, new mirrors,

a new woman, a new man.
As if a child took a switchblade
to a stack of photos, the possibilities,
the forks we never touched will gleam
inside a hastily-painted drawer.

If so, and if we meet as streetside strangers
some Friday after work, slide to pavement
awkwardly polite, if then I ask you
of the weather and which wine to go
with flounder, you will look away.

You will call it an impertinence,
an unwanted, and I’ll swallow air
and turn, as well. Some woman
I hardly know will be waiting, reading
an Italian novel in bad translation, the flat

turned backward with the smell of radishes
and searing flounder. We’ll open the wine,
a Pinot Grigio, and come against each other
for a formal kiss, as if it all had been
arranged for an unwise, blushing audience.


Carl Boon is a native Ohioan who received his doctorate in 20th-Century American Literature from Ohio University in 2007. He now lives in Izmir, Turkey, where he teaches courses in American culture and literature at 9 Eylül University. His poems have appeared in many magazines, including Posit, The Maine Review, and Diagram. A Pushcart Prize nominee, Boon recently edited a volume on the sublime in American cultural studies.