Despy Boutris

Poem Beginning with a Retweet

                   with a title borrowed from Maggie Smith

I respect the moon’s unwillingness to be photographed
with a cell phone.
I respect the unwillingness
of a sunset’s orange. Of breath catching
when someone you’ve wanted so badly for so long
reaches for your cheek, gaze on your lips.
Relief of a snow day. Of getting off work early.
Lying in the field behind your house, grass
overgrown with clover. Cotton candy’s mouthfeel.
How the hills disintegrate at dusk.
The thrill of giving voice to what you were afraid
to say. Your first shooting star, or your first time
jumping naked from cliff into ink-black water.
I respect the camera’s inability to capture
the heart’s ba boom ba boom ba boom
as a fingertip ghosts down your arm. Heart like a bird
in flight. Or walking knock-kneed
through the forest again & seeing your favorite tree
chopped down. Can’t record that feeling.
How there’s no way to photograph this body
of mine when it’s branded by want,
the way I turn to a reservoir of need. Like insects:
nectar-drunk, their steady hum, thrumming
through the field in spring, that kind of desire.
Drenched down to my marrow with it.

Despy Boutris is the author of Burials (Bull City Press, 2022). Her writing has been published in Copper Nickel, Guernica, Ploughshares, Crazyhorse, AGNI, American Poetry Review, Gettysburg Review, and elsewhere.