By Jennifer Tonge b. 1965 Jennifer Tonge
Open the window and you want to fly out,
though you never actually do—

I think I see you, still there on the ledge,
where I've left you.

How pulled-awake and flung
can one life be?

Again I thought, It will end.
Again I promised and clung.

I learned there that   
to cling was in my nature.

I think I see you, though you flash
quickly through the shutter.

I think I hear you, though I sleep.

Remember this as a bolero,
a finite flaring—

both the tulip tree   
burning in full bloom

and the weeping silver birch.

Source: Poetry (May 2005).


This poem originally appeared in the May 2005 issue of Poetry magazine

May 2005
 Jennifer  Tonge


Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, Jennifer Tonge received an MFA from the University of Utah. Tonge’s poetry has been anthologized in Rising Phoenix (2004) and Ravishing DisUnities: Real Ghazals in English (2000). Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Quarterly West, Poetry, Ploughshares, New England Review, and Bellingham Review.
The recipient of fellowships from the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, the . . .

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Poems by Jennifer Tonge

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Nature, Relationships, Trees & Flowers, Break-ups & Vexed Love, Realistic & Complicated

POET’S REGION U.S., Southwestern

Poetic Terms Mixed

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