Poem by Kelly Jean Egan
Then a Saturday arrived, whitewashed
in the wake of the evening I first knew
what I knew must be love. I did the dishes,
watched angel hair strands of suds trail from plates
as I swung them from sink to rack to dry.
The kitchen oven’s digital clock, surprised
to see me doing fewer than two things at once,
duly froze in its tracks. The present brimmed.
Moments themselves drew close enough to touch
as I dove between the seconds of my tasks.
Somewhere, women were sitting on their knees
in the grass, patiently weaving nets.
There, in my bedroom I folded sunlit laundry,
smoothing wayward creases from pairs of pants.
Is this then all that was ever required?
Love like the piano strokes of an adagio,
each chore a dancer’s extended arm arching back.
That afternoon, the sleeves of my freshly dried
shirts were still warm as I returned them,
one at a time, to their drawers.
The 2015 Luminaire Award for Best Poetry
We are pleased to announce this poem as a finalist for the 2015 Luminaire Award for Best Poetry, honoring the independent press’ best poems and hybrid works of the year. The winners are selected by an external panel that judges all pieces blind and chooses the full list of 12 finalists from hundreds of entries. Alternating Current does not determine the final outcome for the judging; the external judges’ decisions are final.
KELLY JEAN EGAN lives in San Francisco and recently completed her MFA in Poetry at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga. In addition to writing, she also studies Spanish and generally obsesses about language. She likes to think about outer space and visit small towns. Kelly’s poetry has appeared in Colorado Review, White Stag Journal, and Denver Quarterly and is forthcoming in The Laurel Review. Her criticism can be found on the blog, OmniVerse.
Originally published on 12/26/15.