Joy Had No Use for E

I was thirty,
a country bumpkin.

So brash and wild,
it was shocking.

Drunk all day,
all night.

This isn’t to say
I was cocky,

no sir,
just wildly buoyant.

Man, I was
chair of all boards.

I was assonant,
I was badass,

I was also colossally fun.
Protozoan, you could say.

I was your north star, buddy,
your alibi.

I was piano, sax, mouth, soul.
Cat food, dog food, bird food, sugar, salt,

a cloudburst.
I was lion, husband, laugh.

A Lady! Ha!
In truth, I was your sun,

your moon, your
Sunday nights.

A month of Sundays.
It was nuts.

It was bananas.
And Sunday was pizza day

all day.
Balloons sang,

so many balloons.
It was on a ranch,

no a farm, no in a city,
with its scary fast-crawling rats.


Mornings you sang songs
from musicals,

folk songs, classical stuff,

loud, brash, drunk too.
I dug your singing,

dug you: your class,
your pizazz.

I was happy
in a giddy, foolish,

Yiddish, Buddhist
sort of way.

ELIZABETH J. COLEMAN is the editor of Here: Poems for the Planet (Copper Canyon Press, 2019). She is the author of two poetry collections published by Spuyten Duyvil Press (Proof and The Fifth Generation) and translated the sonnet collection Pythagore, Amoureux into French (Folded Word Press, 2016). Her poems have appeared in a number of journals, including Colorado Review, Rattle, Bellevue Literary Review, and in several anthologies. She has also written two chapbooks. Elizabeth received an MFA from Vermont College of Arts in 2012 after a career as a public interest attorney. She lives in Manhattan and Olivera, New York.