Poem of the Week | October 11, 2021

This week’s Poem of the Week is “Love Poem” by Mathew Weitman!

Mathew Weitman is a Brooklyn based poet and writer. His work appears or is forthcoming in The Evergreen Review, The Southwest Review, Bennington Review, and The Georgia Review, where he was the winner of the 2021 Loraine Williams Poetry Prize. He received his MFA from the New School, where he was a student poetry editor at LIT Magazine.


Love Poem

Yesterday on the phone you sounded like a memory I do not have
of some storied morning
when we watched the ranch-hand’s son put on his bee-suit
& take down a wasp nest from the stable eaves with a plastic bag

& as if memory were a pattern that gestures toward the infinite
before breaking             like the fragments of a spiral shell
            on the phone your voice was just the way it was
on the day before this day that didn’t happen when you said
All you can think about is reaching camp & listening to the horses drink
as my palomino boldly pissed beside a coiled rattler

& this was the way you sounded
on the day before the day before this day that didn’t happen
when I mistook the racks of mule deer for moving trees
& you said         But in the desert there are no trees

I don’t want to romanticize events that haven’t occurred
& yet there is a certain tone you have upon waking
            when your voice is tinged with sleep
that makes me nostalgic for an afternoon I made up
where you scrambled through the brush
with a handful of lizard tails

a certain cadence in the way you say Good morning as you leave a dream
that makes me overly sentimental about the goats
I imagine you naming & the way they chew


Author’s Note

I love talking to someone who is just waking up or falling asleep. Because I keep strange hours, an early morning or late night phone call is something my favorite people have come to expect from me. There is something funny, eternal, and authentic when you realize you’re hearing the day’s first or last words from someone you love.