The Lies Poets Tell
“I dreamed last night—
This is false in any poem
Last night never happened”
Of course, I really mean some night
or many nights or even no night at all.
Like those days when it’s about to storm
and the Midwestern plains are full
of lightning, corn stalks bending
in yellow light and we make love,
land-locked, dreaming of brown
desolate oceans we’ll never reach.
Last night anything could’ve happened—
our whole lives pushed to the breaking
point, our center unable to hold
the weight of another man. Yes, last night
we fought. Dug a tunnel through
a snow bank. Survived. Watched
a Brad Pitt movie. I made dinner.
You laughed. I threw spoons against
the wall. Last night we blew up the world.
Ignited a revolution. Trapped ourselves
in a manmade hell where fire licks
flesh but never singes hair. Last night
is tonight, and the next night, and some
night twenty years from now in a field,
backs against grass, your hand in mine,
our fingernails full of earth.
Stephen S. Mills holds an MFA from Florida State University. His poems have appeared in The Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide, PANK Literary Magazine, The New York Quarterly, The Antioch Review, The Los Angeles Review, Knockout, Ganymede, Poetic Voices Without Borders 2, Assaracus, New Mexico Poetry Review, Mary, and others. He is also the winner of the 2008 Gival Press Oscar Wilde Poetry Award. His first book, He Do the Gay Man in Different Voices, is out from Sibling Rivalry Press. Website: http://www.stephensmills.com/