Shirley Temple: Extended Sonnet
by Lyd Havens
I never thought I’d love like this, now
I’m lit up like a bottle of grenadine
in the sun. This is a constant. A truth,
much like our bodies. I remember
to wash my socks now. I am becoming
braver in smaller ways. You convinced
me the present dazzles brighter than
the future. A disco ball, darling.
A confident cheekbone. I don’t think
I need to learn how to tie a cherry stem
with just my tongue and crossed fingers
anymore. I’ll just hold the warm clothes
from the dryer and close my eyes for
a minute. Like you, it’s teaching me
all about brevity’s sugars.
[Written after listening to “Visions of Gideon” by Sufj an Stevens 20 times in a row]
by Lyd Havens
I cannot escape the word tender and I think
that makes me the most poet I’ve ever been.
I still remember the way my hair got caught
in the crook of your left elbow once. The way
it started to rain. The texture of the bathroom
wall I cried against after. I, the Plutarch
of my own ache, all in fear of a forgetting
that is not possible anymore. This is not
the last time. Apparently, it took 276 years
to build Rome. A year and 45 days to build
the Empire State Building. About 20 years
to build the Taj Mahal. I love like a dedicated
architect. I remember like a mudbrick
so gently set. The present, the here, is so
steadily gorgeous that I can’t bring myself
to yearn for anything else now. I suppose
that’s the beauty of all this: no matter how
our histories write themselves,
the paper will be held so lovingly.
Lyd Havens is a nationally touring poet and performer currently living in Boise, Idaho. Their work has previously been published in Winter Tangerine, Glass: a Journal of Poetry, and Tinderbox Poetry Journal, among others. They are the author of the chapbook I Gave Birth to All the Ghosts Here (Nostrovia! Press, 2018), and are currently working towards a BFA in Creative Writing and History at Boise State University. They were born on their due date, and have been intensely punctual to everything since.