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RJ Gibson

RJ Gibson

RJ Gibson's work has appeared or will appear in Court Green, Columbia Poetry Review, Bloom, Knockout, OCHO, and various other magazines and anthologies. His chapbook Scavenge won the 2009 Robin Becker Prize. Currently, he is a lecturer at West Virginia Wesleyan College.

Immersion Method

Now that your wife's moved out
you've papered your house, downstairs and up
with yellow Post-It Notes. Each object's tag bears
its name in French.  You're living in the world
you know, yes, but also the world you don't know yet.
Aren't we all.
Yours is a world where the kitchen range
is powered by gaz. Your cabinets, drawers are full
of fourchettes, couteaux, cups, et cuillères.
This is no mere où est la bibliothèque existence
where we ask directions
to the loo, or to la plage. These days
it's only you in your rooms, plus the chats.
I keep wanting to call you
and say, Since Brian left, I can't help myself,
I think of him as husband still, as future,
as still being the best
and worst part of any room I move through.
And as soon as I do,
I think: Jesus
get over yourself, it's over, move on.
Really, I'm stuck.
I'm stuck with the English I had, its habitual
synonyms and antonyms, instead
of the English I should be having.
Claiming I'm better than I was,
climbing the stairs to bed
I think of what this is in French.
How each part of routine breaks down:
what climb is, what stairs is, done and bed.
I say each aloud,
but my pronunciation is bad, my conjugation:
I'm porting the engraving, I say.
I'm going to milk, I'm nails.


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