“Reverse Nostalgia” by Jonas Kyle-Sidell

It’s the difference between needing to find the poem you know you have inside you – for you’ve already seen the pattern, like an angel! like water on a windshield – and now: knowing you can wait. You can let it spread out like a fist opening, vet it around your belly a while. What power! like this draw-bridge I used to cross over here, in Annapolis, when. . . but what I remember

                                                            is explosions

                        of dust and granite, lingering –

                                                                                    Only I could touch

                                    the sallow smudge of self-loathing

everywhere. Nothing could compare
to women. They were

                                                                                    the world, only it would

                                                                        stars, and I was

not what they needed; other men were, and with them

I couldn’t coo my arrogance –

                                                so I gravitated

                                                                        get the fuck outta my face.

                                                            to the shadows, where

a shattered confidence
could not be seen. The thundering clap of my loneliness in the distance, almost irrelevant. What I knew I knew: I was making memories in a time seven years down the line I’d never take back. But what I remember most is the fire.

Jonas has had poems published in the L.A. Review, Gargoyle, Pearl, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, Main Street Rag, The Melancholy Dane, Paradigm, Welter, and Smile Hon! You're in Baltimore. He is currently an adjunct English teacher at the Community College of Baltimore County. He's got more where this came from.