Jeffrey McDaniel Poems
The Quiet World
In an effort to get people to look
into each other's eyes more,
and also to appease the mutes,
the government has decided
to allot each person exactly one hundred
and sixty-seven words, per day.
When the phone rings, I put it to my ear
without saying hello. In the restaurant
I point at chicken noodle soup.
I am adjusting well to the new way.
Late at night, I call my long distance lover,
proudly say I only used fifty-nine today.
I saved the rest for you.
When she doesn't respond,
I know she's used up all her words,
so I slowly ...
On the scales of desire, your absence weighs more
than someone else’s presence, so I say no thanks
to the woman who throws her girdle at my feet,
as I dropp a postcard in the mailbox and watch it
throb like a blue heart in the dark. Your eyes
are so green – one of your parents must be