—after Ben Lerner
by Pamela Joyce Shapiro

Sometimes, I lose my pronouns pondering the possibilities of we.
Your she, diffident among peacocks and catastrophes, must
always please. Pinned beneath the weight of verbs, she asks if you recall
her noun, the long nights reading blind, some meaning in the hours of our.
Yours is a possessive without apostrophe. Fractured lines
blossoming across limb and mind, cloying adverbs in search of
passive phrases. Are you you outside of me? Persuasive verse
unravels uniformly, a fallen nest of morphemes like
promises forgotten. Syntax deceives, meter is faulty.
If it is any consolation, the reader never tires.


About the Poet: Pamela Joyce Shapiro is a cognitive psychologist intrigued by memory and language. She teaches psychology in Philadelphia and writes poetry to capture thoughts and moments otherwise forgotten. Her work has appeared in Poetry Breakfast, Better Than Starbucks, The Ekphrastic Review, Unlost, and One Sentence Poems.