This first section of the interaction was inspired by the epigraph from Sharon Olds's "Late Poem To My Father". It's also part of a series of poems inspired by a Nicole Homer prompt.
The second portion is just my response to how I read this book at eighteen, and how I read this book at thirty-nine.
Ten Meals I Don't Remember Eating #10:
February 16th, 2016, Cambridge, Massachusetts
When I love you now,
I like to think I am giving my love
directly to that boy in the fiery room,
as if it could reach him in time.
--- Sharon Olds, "Late Poem To My Father"
You were never as eighteen as you were at thirty
sitting on my bed in your room
playing Kingdom Hearts
pretending you didn't hear me knock on the door
We had both ordered dinner at the same time from
slightly different restaurants
Yours arrived first but I had
mistakenly answered the door and paid for your meal
I knocked louder
Not your cluelessly optimistic ex but
a parent trying to
respect the privacy of an unnecessarily
I had a speech memorized
opening with a joke and ending with you
moving out again
I didn't speak to you for three weeks in case
I accidentally recited it
You smiled as you took your food into your room
I paid for my dinner too
sat on the floor in my room
watching the door between us
imagining I knew how to open it
without disturbing you
when i was eighteen and less metaphor i read the gold cell from cover to i can't anymore . laughed at the pope's penis and imagined i truly understood the solution . i loved how sharon olds viewed the world outside her own . but when her family came in . her father . her history . her impending children . i . i read them over and over . knowing that i was missing something . all of my love was current . all of my realizations were in other books . all of my love was things . all of my people were something missing .
when i was thirty-nine and prime time soap opera i read the gold cell from back to front . family to the outside world . how much simpler to start with the closeness i don't understand . end with the world i'm afraid to know
An ongoing conversation between writers and the text that they're reading.