[It was as if her love had become]

By Joshua Beckman b. 1971 Joshua Beckman
It was as if her love had become
a big eye or some historical logic or
a religious particle lodged in the brain.
In the most costly services of a great society
one may find the allure of a benign intelligence.
I have hoped, since I was a child, to be surrounded by
a group of articulate characters who might
with gracious friendship provide
some essential entertainment

                                                       as Aaron’s
                                                               which was a cane
                                                  and then a snake
                                                     and then a cane again

     great clouds
              of smoke from the forest
Itsy bugs amarch my naked legs
        in my beard, to burn
                                as one might
                                         with one’s eyes
I learned, but can no longer remember
with what dignity another’s care imbues one.
You sit and pick the lice from my hair.
What sort of life is this.

Joshua Beckman, “[It was as if her love had become]” from Take It. Copyright © 2009 by Joshua Beckman. Reprinted by permission of Wave Books.

Source: Take It (Wave Books, 2009)

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Poet Joshua Beckman b. 1971

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Love, Realistic & Complicated, Romantic Love, Relationships, Home Life

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Joshua  Beckman


Joshua Beckman was born in New Haven, Connecticut, and attended Hampshire College. An editor at Wave Books, he is the author of Things Are Happening (1998), winner of the APR/Honickman First Book Award, Something I Expected to Be Different (2001), Your Time Has Come (2001), Shake (2006), and Take It (2009). He has also collaborated with Matthew Rohrer on the book Nice Hat. Thanks (2002) and the CD Adventures While Preaching the . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Realistic & Complicated, Romantic Love, Relationships, Home Life

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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