Poem of the Week: Theory of Loneliness
This week's poem comes from Lisa Richter, whose book of poetry Nautilus and Bone won the 2020 Jewish Book Award for Poetry. In addition to her two published volumes, Richter has had work appear in numerous literary journals. "Theory of Loneliness" was published in Minola Review and selected for the Best Canadian Poetry 2019 Notable List.
Theory of Loneliness
After Mark Doty
Suppose the world is not round as they say but rather bulb-shaped or turnip-like suppose that turnip’s roots dangle muddy with black earth you will run beneath cold water to loosen before boiling suppose those crumbs of earth disperse into the cold satin vacuum of space and travel like spores and time stretching so long so vast you can’t really even think of it as time anymore just something that goes on and on like the heartbeat you hear in your mind’s conch shell an ocean rolling over and over onto itself echoing stars that gasp beneath the glistening blue mouth the planet opens wide as it thunders in silence suppose there is a crustacean whose hard-shelled back we have not seen yet suppose it sleeps in valleys in the ocean deep as mountains you could fall into and spend a lifetime climbing out of to get back suppose every person you see reading on the bus whose eyes flicker away when they meet yours is a person you might have loved
- Lisa Richter