Arian Katsimbras has a new poem published at Thrush called “Of Stone and Glass.” You can find it here.
The poem considers young love and exploration, but it does so from a perspective of loss, with the poetic speaker thumbing through memories. He remembers the kids as they kiss, but he is also forced to recognize the march of time that inevitably disrupts or destroys these things. Though the present is bereft of romantic connection, tomorrow is even less fruitful: “Tomorrow I will begin / to guess a violent kind / of guessing, like naming / what’s empty.” The speaker names (and counts) the world, but its tangible objects seem ever more removed. The loss of love is persistent, a promise.
The poem ends with the image of the kiss and the loss that follows: “I think of mouth and mouth / and that if I listen close / enough I might hear / them bang together, break / like bone cages, break / like stone, like window.” The kiss–the thrill of connection–is figured as a breaking stone or shattered glass. Whether sturdy or brittle, the kiss cannot be reclaimed and seems to keep sounding in the speaker’s mind like a recurring echo–a very powerful image.