Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

“I Want You Here”

Marilyn Kallet was born in Montgomery, Alabama, and grew up in New York. She is the author of sixteen books, including Packing Light: New and Selected Poems; Circe, After Hours; and Last Love Poems of Paul Eluard. Kallet directs the creative-writing program at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, and she also teaches poetry workshops in Auvillar, France, for the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

I Want You Here

So badly my fingertips ache
roses droop against the stones

the green light of the Garonne
stuns my eyes

I talk to dogs to my chair
listen at the neighbor’s door

The old stones of the village are too smooth
The stubble of your chin will do

I want you here so badly
I can taste your salt

I’ll find a place or two for your mouth
listen hard to your tongue

we’ll coo like mad doves
become ballads legends

climb to the centre ville
devour the first May cherries

at home in each other

beneath the blue sheet
of sky.

[This poem first appeared on October 24, 2014. It has been updated to reflect new event information.]