By Joseph Hesch
I sat twirling the pencil in my fingers.
I had carefully sharpened it four times now.
The faint green notebook page on the desk
could have been a paint swatch
for redecorating someone else’s bathroom
for all the good it did me just sitting there.
Occasionally, I would rub my eyes,
hoping for a red-tinged glint of a vision.
Or I would scuff my feet
on the carpet under the desk,
briskly comb my fingers
through my hair, and reach out
to touch the lamp,
perhaps expecting some static-charged
electrical spark inside my head
would nudge the pencil across the page
in something resembling chains
of subjects and predicates. Iambs or trochees.
And then, I think for no reason,
since I wasn’t anywhere near that memory,
I thought of you.
That’s when something bubbled up
from beneath the rock of my heart,
through my hand, onto that page,
and I was happy, for a blessed little while.
Are you Beatrice or Old Will’s
“muse of fire, that would ascend
the brightest heaven of invention?”
No, you are the other,
the one that launched
my thousand thousand dreams.