Two Poems
J. Joseph Kane

Furnishing Speech

Without a couch,
this room feels too full of space.

The way words fill up with space
when they've been tongued too often,

until, when someone speaks,
all I see is the gap in their mouth

and conversation is just
one pause after another.

We Never Swore to Do No Harm

I tried to study
the anatomy of this life,
of good hats,
my desk,
the sound of cars outside my window.
But this world,
as a body,
is a machine too detailed
for my clumsy tools.
And my body,
as a world,
has loved the sun
in so many more shapes
than just ellipses,
and burned for it.

Staring into porchlights
made in the '70s
-- their bulbous glass
the color of burnt oranges --
I become nostalgic
for a time I didn't even know.
In that way,
they remind me of you.