Fall 2019

THERE’S ALWAYS BEEN BEFORE

By Carl Boon

I had a lover then—we all had lovers then—
checking recipes for banana bread,
misting their eyelids pearl
or blue for love
for love because 
the world we’d known would be 
the world we’d known forever.
Yes—we actually thought about 
banana bread and sex and stopping 
at the Red Dog drive-thru 
for a case of beer and how tomorrow 
would be no different.

I bought condoms and Kleenex,
thinking easy tears, thinking of her breasts
and Virginia Woolf, thinking 
that what mattered always would—
baseball and marriage,
maybe marriage 
if I found the words
for love, love without barrier,
love as it should be. Yes—how unmysterious
the world when I was young 
and wanted nothing but a song.
She bobbed in the tub.

She soaped her body while I
was in the kitchen frying potatoes 
and calling past borders where the thyme,
where the onions they had gone somewhere
everything’s eventually gone and
I didn’t know that. I was 27
and writing ardent poems 
and waiting for her to love me—
love, what a word,
what hope there was before 
the Towers fell and listlessness.
I watched baseball in the afternoon
and believed she’d always be there.


Carl Boon is the author of the collection Places & Names: Poems (The Nasiona Press, 2019). His poems have appeared in many journals and magazines, including: Prairie Schooner, Posit, and The Maine Review. He received his Ph.D. in Twentieth-Century American Literature from Ohio University in 2007, and currently lives in Izmir, Turkey, where he teaches courses in American culture and literature at Dokuz Eylül University.

Fall 2019