Not So Blind, Robert Beveridge

 

 


Not So Blind

 

your eyes
are the flavor
of almonds
with a touch
of salt

they burn
through me
like cyanide
this all-too-short
first date

after hours
of naked
conversation
I am left

with an ache
in my groin
to kiss your
lithe body
touch your
shoulders
in reverence

yet all I hear
from your thin
wanting lips
is goodbye

the echoes
of call me
tomorrow
strain my ears

_________________________
Robert Beveridge

 

Review by Keith Dunlap

If death is one of the hardest subjects to address in poetry, erotic desire is the hardest. Addressing it head on is admirable in itself. But, again, Beveridge launches the poem immediately into its rarified air. “[Y]our eyes are the flavor of almonds with a touch of salt.” There is so much in that line. The synesthesia, the turning back just enough to the visual element by invoking’ the color, almond,’ and the playful image of sprinkling a little salt into the mix, adding bitterness, tears, and sauciness with one stroke is masterful. It is not easy to take the most overworked trope, describing one’s lover’s eyes and not only make an ironic comment on that trope but also deliver a fresh and sincere take. This poem owes more than a little to the fragment of Sappho which begins “That man seems to me to be like the gods,” as I guess all erotic poetry does, i.e. “burn through me,” “ache in my groin,” and the sound thrumming in the narrator’s ears, but its echoes are not too obvious, do not detract at all from the presentness of the poem. Instead of the “sweet laughter” echoing, it is the “call me tomorrow.” Brilliant.

 

Review by Michael Chin

“Not So Blind” is a nice response to our current moment and the #metoo movement. In an era when predatory men who feel entitled to women’s bodies are rightfully called out, the speaker in this poem hearkens to a more innocent sensation of lost—or at least deferred—possibility, without a hint of aggression. He’s melancholy that the night ended as soon as it did, but doesn’t betray a sense of injustice, bespeaking a more likable worldview and character.