Sonia's Poem of the Week #33
Apologies in advance for sending you a poem with February in the title.

I myself try to forget the names of the winter months from May through September. But this is a poem about being alone, about finding some kind of internal elevation when your love is in another state—and I've never known a summer as knit for loneliness as this one. Pay special attention to Olivarez's layered imagery of solitude (the wind in hand, the four eyes) and the way he floods this scene with juxtaposing color (blue light against gold). 

February & my love is in another state
By José Olivarez

so when i walk down the street, i hold hands
with the wind. there’s a chimney coughing
up ahead & a sky so honey, i could almost taste it.
a cat struts away from me & two yellow eyes

become four: just like that,
i’m the loneliest creature on this block.
soon the streetlights will come alive
& television sets will light up with blues.

stay with me. while the sky is still golden,
hold the ladder so i can climb, & from
the highest rung, i can scrape away a drizzle
of light to wear around my neck. alone

is the star i follow. in love & in solitude:
alone is the home with the warmest glow.

This poem appeared in the December 2019 issue of POETRY Magazine. José Olivarez is on Instagram and Twitter. 

The Postscript

1. My poem "5,000 Prostitutes in Erice" made its digital debut on Rattle's website this week. Click here to see the poem in its post-card-y glory, get a little background on the town of Erice and hear me read the poem out loud. 
2. Just for joy, this TikTok of a boy dancing at his sister's wedding. He has excellent moves, but also I love the uproarious, boy-band level fandom screaming put on by the wedding guests. 

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Sonia Feldman · 2529 Detroit Ave · Cleveland, OH 44113 · USA

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