Lodestar Quarterly

Lodestar Quarterly
Figure reaching for a star Issue 7 • Fall 2003 • Poetry

The Future Tense

Randall Mann

Whiter than the roadside rhododendron
I will mistake for hydrangea,
whiter than the whitest lost tourist,

the bread you will fling at the ducks
will lie in fat clumps, the gulls
feasting on the inedible,

their whitish excrement
splattered on our parked car.
There will be immoderate wind:

your hair, for once, will not
be a work of art. This is my fiction.
You will present me with a bottle

of lukewarm white, and even you
will drink right from the bottle --
we'll laugh the way we never laughed.

And you will say the word love
as if it were not meaningless, as if
we were not dying, as if our language

were not dying. You will say the word,
love, as if it meant love.

Randall Mann was awarded the 2003 Kenyon Review Prize in Poetry. His first collection of poems, Complaint in the Garden, is forthcoming from Zoo Press in the spring of 2004. He has individual poems forthcoming in The Kenyon Review, The Paris Review, Poetry, and Salmagundi. He lives in San Francisco.

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