Feb. 19 - "Hello." [template]

by Jason Wardell

[First Breath]

I would like to preface this
by saying I don't do this often.
I'd use the word 'never' but
I'm sure I've mumbled out an
introduction to someone at somepoint,
progressed through several shades of red,
then made a hasty retreat to my car.

That said, "Hello."

I'm Jason.

[Second Breath]

I figured that if I didn't
say that much, my next week
would be filled with self-loathing
bordering on hatred--now THAT'S
something I'm familiar with.

I saw you were reading and
listening and drinking and
I thought you might be someone
I'd like to know.

[Third Breath]

Just now, I considered leaving,
running back home against the cold
wind, the snow-strewn sidewalks.

But I figured that if I didn't
say something more, my next week
would be devoted to seeing
how big of a hole I could make
just above my headboard by
repeatedly banging my head
against the wall and thinking
repeatedly about how much better
I would feel if I'd just left
without mumbling out
an introduction.

[Fourth Breath]

Instead, I was wondering if
you'd like to grab a coffee

I realize we're at a coffee shop
but I'd rather spend a week
repeatedly checking my e-mail,
biting my fingernails bloody.

If I stay to talk, I'll run out of things to say.
You'll see me for who I really am:
hollow, insecure, and narcissistic.

Groucho, too; I wouldn't want a girl
who would have me as her boyfriend;
the thrill is in the anemic, desperate hunt.

Give it a week or two.

You'll figure it out.

[Fifth Breath]

So, "Hello."

I just wanted to get all that out there
so there aren't any nasty surprises later.


Author's Note: Midday.

Posted on 02/20/2009
Copyright © 2022 Jason Wardell

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Gabriel Ricard on 02/20/09 at 03:11 AM

You seem to do awfully well with midday, as this one might suggest. Awesome.

Posted by George Hoerner on 02/20/09 at 01:56 PM

If you haven't read Gabe you'll have to do it and you may see why he feels this is "awesome" which it really is. A slice of life this template tells it all for each of afraid to test the water except on those rare times when we snap, when we get to close the water and fall in knowing we can't swim but want to so very much.

Posted by Charlie Morgan on 02/20/09 at 02:43 PM

...the words walk...and talk...hello!?? anybody in there?...gettin' it all out there so there's no confusion, eh?(love the breath sequence--took deep breaths before i moved on...cool.

Posted by Nanette Bellman on 02/20/09 at 04:27 PM

these breaths are more like thoughts to me. and it looks like your mind is just as clustered as mine. i'm CONSTANTLY thinking, i can't stop. i love the concept and how you captured it.

Posted by Ava Blu on 02/20/09 at 05:19 PM

and on your sixth breath, she said hello back. or at least that's what i choose to see in my head as i imagine this scene.

Posted by Ava Blu on 02/20/09 at 05:19 PM

by the way, because i hate when people add poems to their favorites and don't tell me, i am adding this one.

Posted by Genevieve Sturrock on 02/21/09 at 07:56 AM

heh. yeah. know this. glad to be beyond it. nicely expressed.

Posted by Joan Serratelli on 09/05/11 at 10:54 AM

Interesting form. Great choice for POTD. Congrats!

Posted by Linda Fuller on 09/05/11 at 06:57 PM

Jason - liked this a lot - congrats on POTD :)

Posted by Monique Louw on 09/06/11 at 12:14 AM


Posted by Elizabeth Jill on 02/08/12 at 02:51 PM

fine art, fine fine art. favorite, and glad I found this

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