Poetry: Same Souvenirs

About a month ago, I challenged a friend to write a poem whose letters contained no ascenders or descenders. I started fiddling with the same prompt, and this is what I came up with. What did I have in mind? Something about the memories and mementos we keep from our intimate relationships. Just as memory requires mental paring, mementos facilitate the omission of information surrounding the object itself. Such editing can either smooth or sharpen the relationship’s edges — or both.

The poem’s pruned vocabulary seems to fit the theme, or perhaps I gravitated to the theme because of the poem’s pruned vocabulary. After I wrote it, I realized two ascenders had made their way past me. I’ll leave them for now. I am nothing without my mistakes.

same souvenirs

snow     rain                        acorn     scoria
a raven we measure        over a ravine
weavers                                we weave camera-hours

maroon our vows             aversion     a version
or a veneer                          we are our own severance
romance mews                  i am a voice in a minor sea

see me                                   o oar     o caracara
commence us                     come mince us
a sore view                          convince me we are

won                                        one in our     scare
cesium woman                  iron man
remorse code                     i avow

i am no verse                    as rain is     no
monsoon                            worms are
as numinous                     as a cosmos

veer or revere                  or worse     waver
snow     rain                      snow     rain
same     same                   same     same