Read Poems by Luis Martinez-Rivera

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A Night Long Gone

Knowledge is frightening, and it is far too
late to return to that stage of ignorance in my 
black metal framed bed. Right by the staircase
a long empty dark basement, my toes tingling 
from the cold. At the ripe age of seventeen, if 
only I knew.

All those late nights on the phone, your smooth,
high-pitched voice, assaulting my walls of emotion
with soft innocent giggles. I can only see the ghost 
of those nights when I look to that end of the basement.
I wonder if you still think of those late nights, bags of ice 
under our phones from the heat of those calls. 

My mind floods with those conversations,
professing young love, promises of nothing
but everything at the same time. There is no way
these have left you, or maybe you are not the same
as what memory has painted you to be. 

But I refuse to relinquish those night to anyone,
there are nights you don’t cross my mind. Then
you flood back in after the faintest resemblance
of those nights. Yet that is all you ever were.

A phone call, a name, whilst in bed,
That basement is haunted by your voice,
What’s it like in Okinawa now? Missouri is still
cold as hell, even though time “is a straight line”,
Time constantly circles back on itself in my memories.

This basement belongs to you, as other places of this house,
belong to others. I hope it’s warm enough for you.  

Copyright © Luis Martinez-Rivera | Year Posted 2016


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