One Two

One and Two

right hand
cupped over ear
cell phone
tucked against your
right hand
talking to her
or him.
I don’t know you
anymore
are you a fag
or what
why did you leave
why me
it’s easier
I think
to think that you
turned gay
that I didn’t
blow it
but that I just
never
had any chance.
Truth is
I think I did.

Stephanie Cottrell Bryant
April 15, 2003


About this poem: This might look like free verse, because it doesn’t have punctuation. However, it’s not– free verse is just free– it doesn’t adhere to any rhythmic or rhyme pattern. This poem, on the other hand, has an alternating monameter/dimeter (one foot, two foot) rhythm all the way through, with a slight trip on the line “anymore.” However, “anymore” only has one foot (it’s an anapest), despite having three syllables, and is therefore a monameter line anyway. This poem was inspired by all the people I saw walking in and out of the movie theatre at lunch time, carrying cell phones. Some of them were with their dates, and I wondered who they were talking to. When I wrote “or him” I realized the poem was about sexuality and the confusion that comes when someone recognizes their sexual orientation while you’re seeing them romantically.


© 2003, Stephanie Cottrell Bryant. Written by Stephanie Cottrell Bryant. Permission to copy, distribute, share with friends and loved ones is granted, provided the copyright and author acknowledgments remain intact.

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