Things I Forgot about Love

In this boat, we each have an oar.
How not to row in circles.

It isn’t the waves.
We can ride the waves.
How gently we can rock, the shoreline thinning.

It isn’t only the green ocean,
the fever, heart wingful.

It isn’t about a map, but that map
might help me remember
on a good day, my words are sprays of freesia,

our skin is like sunlight. It is
and isn’t about that goldness.

It is and isn’t only the shadows
in dust-showered corners or under
winter trees. Listen—

the shadows make the doorways.
It is doors opening.

 

 

 

 

Joannie Stangeland is the author of several collections, most recently The Scene You See (Ravenna Press). Her poems have appeared in The Midwest Quarterly, Meridian, Dunes Review, Purr and Yowl: An Anthology of Poetry about Cats, I Sing the Salmon Home, and other journals and anthologies. She works by day as a technical writer and holds an MFA from the Rainier Writing Workshop. (Photo courtesy of Rosanne Olson)