“Are All the Break-Ups in Your Poems Real?” by Aimee Nezhukumatathil

If by real you mean as real as a shark tooth stuck
in your heel, the wetness of a finished lollipop stick,
the surprise of a thumbtack in your purse—
then Yes, every last page is true, every nuance,
bit, and bite. Wait. I have made them up—all of them—
and when I say I am married, it means I married
all of them, a whole neighborhood of past loves.
Can you imagine the number of bouquets, how many
slices of cake? Even now, my husbands plan a great meal
for us—one chops up some parsley, one stirs a bubbling pot
on the stove. One changes the baby, and one sleeps
in a fat chair. One flips through the newspaper, another
whistles while he shaves in the shower, and every single
one of them wonders what time I am coming home.

~ Aimee Nezhukumatathil, from Lucky Fish. Copyright © 2011 by Aimee Nezhukumatathil.

6 thoughts on ““Are All the Break-Ups in Your Poems Real?” by Aimee Nezhukumatathil

    1. A line from one of my favorite songs:
      “Decide what to be, and go be it.”
      But yeah, isn’t this poem awesome? Chills, baby.
      And oh by the way, I shared a couple of Susan’s tulip photos today, don’t miss it. xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Had to giggle, because I reacted much the same. The title grabbed my attention, the body kept me hanging on to each word, but then the closing came along and kicked me in the stomach. And then I had to read it again about twenty times. 🙂


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