Treasure Island

Jeffrey McDaniel

(1967 / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

The Benjamin Franklin of Monogamy


Reminiscing in the drizzle of Portland, I notice
the ring that's landed on your finger, a massive
insect of glitter, a chandelier shining at the end

of a long tunnel. Thirteen years ago, you hid the hurt
in your voice under a blanket and said there's two kinds
of women—those you write poems about

and those you don't. It's true. I never brought you
a bouquet of sonnets, or served you haiku in bed.
My idea of courtship was tapping Jane's Addiction

lyrics in Morse code on your window at three A.M.,
whiskey doing push-ups on my breath. But I worked
within the confines of my character, cast

as the bad boy in your life, the Magellan
of your dark side. We don't have a past so much
as a bunch of electricity and liquor, power

never put to good use. What we had together
makes it sound like a virus, as if we caught
one another like colds, and desire was merely

a symptom that could be treated with soup
and lots of sex. Gliding beside you now,
I feel like the Benjamin Franklin of monogamy,

as if I invented it, but I'm still not immune
to your waterfall scent, still haven't developed
antibodies for your smile. I don't know how long

regret existed before humans stuck a word on it.
I don't know how many paper towels it would take
to wipe up the Pacific Ocean, or why the light

of a candle being blown out travels faster
than the luminescence of one that's just been lit,
but I do know that all our huffing and puffing

into each other's ears—as if the brain was a trick
birthday candle—didn't make the silence
any easier to navigate. I'm sorry all the kisses

I scrawled on your neck were written
in disappearing ink. Sometimes I thought of you
so hard one of your legs would pop out

of my ear hole, and when I was sleeping, you'd press
your face against the porthole of my submarine.
I'm sorry this poem has taken thirteen years

to reach you. I wish that just once, instead of skidding
off the shoulder blade's precipice and joyriding
over flesh, we'd put our hands away like chocolate

to be saved for later, and deciphered the calligraphy
of each other's eyelashes, translated a paragraph
from the volumes of what couldn't be said.

Submitted: Thursday, July 14, 2005

Do you like this poem?
2 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Benjamin Franklin of Monogamy by Jeffrey McDaniel )

Enter the verification code :

  • Greenwolfe 1962 (2/8/2008 7:14:00 PM)

    Well, this is a well written piece of short prose which has a
    rather nice flow of word sounds to enhance the message.
    This would make a rather nice segment of a loving short
    story which could be expanded by creative minds into
    a nice Hallmark Hall OF Fame production for television.
    That's not going to happen, so this medium will have
    to do. Fortunately, the writer is up to the task.

    Greenwolfe 1962 (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. An Invitation, Doyen Lingua
  2. Bougainvillea, Col Muhamad Khalid Khan
  3. Enamored Love, Lilly Emery
  4. October Skies, Lilly Emery
  5. What if, Chris Zachariou
  6. Within My Mind Holds Dreams, Lilly Emery
  7. citizen, Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
  8. A Treat, Please, Bruce Larkin
  9. I Love Halloween!, Bruce Larkin
  10. Wal-Mart are You Joking?, Joe Rosochacki

Poem of the Day

poet Robert Louis Stevenson

It is very nice to think
The world is full of meat and drink,
With little children saying grace
In every Christian kind of place.... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Amy Lowell

 

Trending Poems

  1. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  4. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  7. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  8. A Thought, Robert Louis Stevenson
  9. No Man Is An Island, John Donne
  10. As I Grew Older, Langston Hughes

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]