THE VERBS WILL NOT CONJUGATE
No past, no future perfect,
instead, they rest in the infinitive—
or infinity, going on and on
about what could, what might,
singing to, to, to—a longing song.
In this chapter, she has parsed
for predicates, but movement remains
hypothetical, like an old professor
she barely remembers
in a class she used to cut.
She picks one phrase from the tangle,
starts it over: to love, to live,
to wander barefoot after dark
when the air smells like lilacs,
to eat toast in the morning and watch
the sun spill up over the water.
Joannie Stangeland has had work appear in CHEST, Horticulture, JAMA, Chaffin Journal, The Smoking Poet, and Ekleksographia. She is also the author of two poetry chapbooks and the host of an online video series “A Writer’s Guide to Microsoft Office.”