My eyes see unapproachable things--
but is first glance always correct?
Don't judge a book by its cover
is something I repeat over and over
so as to connect
with unorthodoxly remarkable things.
For me, it's a tall, odd man who brings
desires I then collect
until my heart takes cover--
this friend who could be lover,
but in retrospect,
he must remain an unapproachable thing,
for the unreturned love only stings
till I am a wreck--
a wordless, warped book that can't recover
from a man as close as a brother
too hard all through for my love to affect,
so to keep my heart from aching for things,
I must judge a book by its cover.
In one Gorgonian instant she returned
to preengagement apathy for me.
She says she'll do without me easily,
without this hero's heart, so softly scorned--
confusion petrifies its cavity.
I'll readjust? That word, it's only for
couples therapy, but not our score.
Consensual dissolve and not this war
(serpents whispered slander in her ear)
ideally would be a better way.
She was once my emerald-eyed savior,
a god I'll unremember. Now I weigh
all brutal options, leer, and lope away,
a played mate who lost to one who turned
a part of me to stone, without a stir.
Marc Darnell is a custodian and online tutor in Omaha, Nebraska, and received his MFA from the University of Iowa. He has published poems in The Lyric, Blue Unicorn, Shot Glass Journal, Impspired, The Road Not Taken, Rue Scribe, and elsewhere.