“the poems you like” by Mike Bove

all begin mid-sentence with a cool edge
tumbling inward to a vermillion core

they possess images                they make images

& many of them are quite striking
due to disavowal of standard punctuation
with the exception of instances of extreme
emphasis or necessity.

your grandmother’s pain lives inside
them along her mahogany shelves
next to a framed photograph of a dead soldier
& the window is open because the poem must
have a question but in place of an answer

there is the wind                                 you hear

angry fathers in the lines
& see vast expanses of ice on january lakes
off the backroads leading to a city of great joy
& a love which someone you know has left
buried beneath the big oak in the park

all the poems you like feature a sunflower

all the poems you like are flapping
like maple leaves and in them your old pets
have come back to life & so has miles davis

please don’t forget the burnished sun
& the russet fields                  

that steamy vermillion core

please don’t forget that all the poems you like
end with

this & this
or this


MIKE BOVE‘s poems have appeared recently in RattleThe Cafe Review, and others. His first book, Big Little City, was published by Moon Pie Press in 2018. He lives in Portland, Maine with his family and teaches in the English Department at Southern Maine Community College. 

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