“Jupiter’s Raindrops” by John O’Brien

Jupiter’s raindrops are
a phenomenon that
follows close behind
moonlight and aftersex
and the sonnet
of moments where
collecting my pants
mixes deliberately with
staring and this
pale shimmer of
melancholy. This is
a lesson in
anger, incorporating good
sexualized, paltry moods
and little restraint.
Before I slammed
the door with
a piece of myself
on either side
I held her
with my fingers
tightly wrapped around
her smooth arms
making sure that
my gentleness doesn’t 
overshadow my rage
while she gazes
through my eyes
with those little,
blank, brown
moons of solace
that arrest me
of the ability
to feel. Within
this ellipsis of
a memory I
feel a heartbeat
that is pounding
from her cold
arms or my 
burning, flimsy hands.
but she is
this dangerous woman
of substance who
defies herself by
ignoring her own wishes,
keeping me more
than most unpalatable
things; greater patience
envelops her steel
soul of forgiveness
and vitruvian violence.
Structuralize me as
if I were
more than man
but successfully devoid
a throbbing soul.
She obliterates me
every beautiful time.

From an absence
of molecules I
somehow reconstruct these
twisted strands of
biological nucleic shame
just so that
I can curl
beneath the essence
of someone who’s
apathy rivals only
her care, dispensed
brutally with absolute
power and effect.

In drizzles from
gas-giant diamonds
the room stumbles
into introspection while
we clean up
the delicate pieces.
there is silence.
She, I, the room.
a view defined
by the gnats
on my screen
that laugh at
the performative joke 
of “the inside.”
soon they hark
to the breath
being held by
pretty much everyone.
even the sofa-chair
(that I must
not acknowledge) has
considered the possibility
of tossing itself
at me; voicing
it’s leather protests 
and wrinkled disgust.
but this isn’t
a description designed
for the dreams.
if perspective could,
it would have.
I find that 
a steel soul
is misleading since
many think steel
hard stuff, when
they just haven’t
seen it melt.

I know the
trap of ambition,
and I know
what dying is.
but tell me,
when your arms
are folded and
you keep looking
at the gnats,
is this love?
or is it
another distraction from
the current fibrillation
that has become
a burden to
your callused eyes?


John O’Brien is a student at Montclair State University. He is doing okay.

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