Poetry at Sangam



AFTER ALL by Jim Schley

When I’d purged
myself of need,
funneled off
desire to hold her,
even scraped
from my mind
the scent and weight
of that body on mine;
convinced any memory
was imaginary
I thought I could speak
carelessly, no hope
of more — maybe
a postcard, or
silence for months.
But still, after all
her voice will drill
through me. Today
when she called
the telephone
was carved of ice.
I know she said, no.
I heard her say, no.
Like Archilochus
who lost his shield,
I say fuck it,
I’ll find another.