Lisken Van Pelt Dus

Yours Sincerely, Loneliness
by Lisken Van Pelt Dus

Forgive my forwardness, but I wanted to warn you
I’ll be coming to live with you. I want you to be prepared.
When you come downstairs in the morning,
you’ll have to step around me to reach the kitchen.
The coffee pot will be sticky with me. The ink from your pen
will smell of me, a different aroma each day, each day
a whiff of a different place you had safely forgotten.
When you practice, your violin will sound with a resonance
that will ache deep in your veins, like amethyst
dropping through your blood. I will snake my way
into your sleep, where you will reach out an arm and find
no one. I will be a slow drum pounding, will remind you
of orgasm, the kind you have when someone else leads you
to it, that you cannot have alone. You will carry me
at your belly, a shuddering burden, heavy and impossible
to detach. When you swallow, you will feel me coating your throat,
flavoring your saliva with salt and lemon. When you speak,
you will breathe me from your windpipe, voice catching
as on the thorns of a cactus. No view will be free of me—
look! you will say, pointing, and no one will see anything.
Look! you will say again, insisting with your forefinger
pressed against air, your lips pursed against air, your chest
aching for someone to say I love you to, to say I love you too.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 16, Issue 4.

Lisken Van Pelt DusLisken Van Pelt Dus is a poet, teacher, and martial artist living in Massachusetts.  Her work appears in Conduit, The South Carolina Review, and in her chapbook, Everywhere at Once (Pudding House Press, 2009).

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