3 poems by Chelsea Logan

To find your way back 

To find your way back,

start in a cafe at noon,

the kind of paradise you’d talk about

when the doubt would swallow me whole.

Some fantasy about pressed slacks,

straw hats, and the sun –

how it could always do something 

just right to your face.   

To find your way back,

burrow into that space carved out

after the dream you have,

the one with the shadows 

where you live in a glass house 

and there’s nowhere to go

so you collect enough of yourself 

to sit on the staircase and wait,

not even watching as they inch closer.

To find your way back,

you may have to go too far.

Once we talked about riptides

and how people drown 

trying to swim against them.

I thought it was a metaphor,

that you were the riptide 

pulling me under, but now

I think maybe 

you were just making conversation.

Hyperbole

To cut down a tree,

a really big tree,

you must start from the top.

Real men know about tree cutting.

There’s meaning in it somewhere,

but not now.  Reflection is for the lithe,

the fraught, and too many minutes 

pass in it.  Action is the game here –

gasoline, constitution, and the physics

of life and death.

But sometimes, 

on a particularly hot day,

a woman will offer a drink

and it’s easy to forget yourself;

to sit among the branches, 

wipe the sweat from your face,

and wonder if she’s happy

as you gather what’s left of yourself

to finish the job.

A Scene from a Reading in the Future

You are a memoir I’d read excerpts of

to handfuls of women, all looking

to find and re-find something like you

in my words.  Maybe you’d show up,

find easy resolution with only a look

like they do on TV.  I’d let you

stand in the back, lean on the faux 

wood paneled wall as they wonder

if you may be the one whispering

from the page.  But that’s as far as I’ll get.

Those women are getting older

and you’re only an invention of mine.

A heart more clever 

could do more with you.

About the contributor

Chelsea Logan is a freelance writer living in Nashville, TN. Her editorial work has appeared in The Tennessean and her poetry has most recently appeared in PIF Magazine and Gravitas Poetry.

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