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Thomas March

Matte O'Brien



the poet

Essayist, performer and poet Thomas March is the author of Aftermath. His work has featured in The Account, The Adroit Journal, The Good Men Project, Evergreen Review, OUT, RHINO and Verse Daily. Thomas hosts and curates bi-monthly 'variety salon' Poetry/Cabaret – a performance series that unites and invites poets, comedians and cabaret performers to share responses to a common theme. A contributing editor to GRAND, he's called New York City home for more than 25 years, and teaches at both The Brearley School, and in Barnard College’s Pre-College Program.

the poems


00:00 / 00:39

                                   Absence can’t be absent

                                   until the waiting stops

                                   and every holiday

                                   or date that celebrates

                                   something of ours can pass

                                   without my noticing

                                   when I get into bed

                                   that I’ve been expecting

                                   to hear from you, maybe

                                   an accidental call—

                                   maybe no accident.

                                   Until then, we remain

                                   at the opposite ends

                                   of widening silence,

                                   nothing between us but

                                   an unseen wire, pulled taut—

                                   a trip wire, a guard wire

                                   held by a ghost, a string

                                   vibrating soundlessly

                                   between two Dixie cups.

Separate Now

00:00 / 01:12

                                   Most of the stemware has shattered,

                                   and the plates have chipped, of living

                                   together, never replacing

                                   anything we still had two of.

                                   Whatever is broken or worn

                                   I guess we kept for the having

                                   of only one of us, one day—

                                   so now that you’re leaving, you leave

                                   whatever is replaceable.

                                   Our suitcase is yours now, and mine

                                   you can have, too—now that I have

                                   your closet space, and all these drawers.

                                   (I’m keeping one drawer just for you—

                                   with bracelets from a Pride parade,

                                   our hotel soaps and small shampoos,

                                   a key to your old apartment,

                                   the corks from two bottles of Veuve,

                                   some ticket stubs, a metrocard,

                                   your extra checkbook. All of it

                                   remains, as if the heart were not

                                   a reliquary of its own.)

                                   But what will we do with the shoes?

                                   We were sharing our shoes before

                                   we settled our sides of the bed.

                                   So who’s to say whose shoes are left

                                   behind this door that has to stay

                                   unlocked, with one of us per side?

Hello, Future

Crossing the Pont des Arts,

Paris, 2019

00:00 / 01:30

                                   'Hello, future,' I say.

                                   'Just say, "Hello, future."'

                                   We don’t stop, but you wave

                                   to the camera and sing,

                                   'Hey, future!' in that way

                                   you sing 'Merry Christmas!'

                                   or 'Hey, you!' if it’s me

                                   when you open the door.

                                   I imagined that day

                                   we would watch this, after

                                   everything we could be

                                   had already happened.

                                   We’d look at each other

                                   in a comfortable room

                                   at the quieter end

                                   of our well-traveled life

                                   and reassure ourselves

                                   by telling your fortune—

                                   that everything to come

                                   would be worth all the rest

                                   of everything to come.

                                   It wasn’t innocent,

                                   asking you to mark this

                                   point from which we’d measure

                                   whatever time was left.

                                   I knew it might be sad

                                   for at least one of us

                                   to watch someday—sometimes

                                   I watch it on behalf

                                   of the future we planned,

                                   sometimes one we might have

                                   escaped. What if I had

                                   stopped you there to confess

                                   my fear—that we’d never

                                   be happier? We could

                                   have parted on that bridge

                                   and never said a thing

                                   we never should have said.

                                   But as long as we live

                                   in this future you greet,

                                   there might be so much more

                                   to say—when we’re ready

                                   no longer to be two

                                   idiots on a bridge,

                                   assuming it will hold.

Publishing credits

Connected: exclusive first publication by iamb

Separate Now: Out

Hello, Future: Evergreen Review


S h a r e

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