I’ll Remind You

Allan Peterson


They are no good, the new shoes,

slick and dangerous on tiles.

Or shirts, till the nine hidden pins are unsheathed,

or ten, depending.

Just another visit to the often hostile seclusions

of the so-well-known

we cease to notice, fidelity or trains,

despite their size.

Sometimes you’d think there were only

hearts or clubs

the way they go on about dangerous choices,

as if that simple.


Absence makes the heart no-handed

is what I’ve learned.

That even the most mortgaged predicament

has its outs: Dylan out loud

in the shed in Wales, far gasses whelping stars.

We see the asteroids by friction,

hearts by oscilloscopes,

roosters silenced by the eventual tedium of light

as the mountains go flat.

Who would give up these holdings and jolts?

I’ll remind you,

since I’m writing these legends by myself,

those dressed like face cards,

acting in spades and diamonds, the King of Cups.


Allan Peterson is a visual artist and chair of the art department and director of the Anna Lamar Switzer Center for Visual Arts at Pensacola Junior College and the author of two books: All the Lavish in Common  (2005 Juniper Prize) and  Anonymous Or (Defined Providence Press Prize ) and four chapbooks. Recent print and online appearances include: Terrain.org, Perihelion, Press 1, Marlboro Review,  Massachusetts Review, Northwest Review, Notre Dame Review, Cordite Poetry Review.  Work forthcoming in: Gettysburg Review, Boston Review, Swink, Runes.