Two Poems by Letson Williams

i haven’t got the courage yet


one by one you said
i think i know what you meant

i’m trying not to unravel and wishoping that if i do it would at least be for atypical reasons but that’s only because i wishope that i am atypical

sometimes i am

i’m not

cold fights hot the day the driveway gets paved black and i sneak into the apartment like it’s some kind of attack leaving the peppers in the car in a sack
by the railroad tracks

the community that is growing is not what i wanted to plant nor is it what i want to harvest so i will leave it for other gardeners

and wonder how productive it is to take that hard look at the ones you’ve collected start to draw comparisons to make generalizations
no matter how accurate
about them and yourself

and i wonder why she felt the need to tell us she left it all on the shelf
it didn’t help

you started to use the word love

a few months back
it took me by surprise
felt unattached
but genuine
and heartfelt
i keep it in my pocket
in case i need the help
i haven’t yet

the transitions have us on moving trains
yours northeast
mine in a circle around the easternmost point of the midwest

a half circle or
a fingernail moon
from the east towns
to the deep blue
that’s not quite dark enough
to make me sweat
but is fast becoming
the part of myself
that is the first thing others notice
upon introductions

i heard jack mack say the words
‘buffalo friends’
the first time recoiled
but now understand
and wonder what it takes
to simply give in and
find both feet planted
in something you can defend
i haven’t got the courage yet

i can’t do anything with a box

requests are requirements
before retirement

they’re ready for you now
here it comes
second floor
what’s in the box

i can’t do anything with a box

what if i came to your house
to see what’s going on at home
in the background

he didn’t say daddy loves you
did he?

it’ll take a while
that’s for sure
i need to get all
the way to 118th street by the night before
tuesday could do something
if i just got enough sleep

never said anything of
the sort
dreams don’t talk
not in hotels
and if you’re flying
you’re dying
somebody told me that

i am not
the one

i’ll wait in blue chairs
near curly hair
sugar bear
nobody’s gonna care
they just stare

the door makes noises
so i know when you come in

everybody’s good at something
i’m good at doing what i’m told
and not looking old

Profile: Letson Williams

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