Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby


Book Excerpt: Even When We Sleep


It rains in my heart — see
Verlaine. Not a medical condition.

Tread-mark on the back road.
You want rhyme, Monsieur?

It’s a toad. Other denizens find
this charming. It rains in my heart,

la la la. Yesterday was junior high,
all day, through the night.

Go buy an umbrella and walk off
that fat ass,

bloated sentiments.
The blues cannot be bought off.

In Paris, they will escort you
arm-in-arm to the Seine.

Take another fat slice of mon
coeur, monsieur.

It doesn’t rain in my heart,
but it’s humid.


Copyright © 2022 by Marilyn Kallet. Excerpted from Even When We Sleep (Black Widow Press), forthcoming in June 2022. All rights reserved. Marilyn Kallet’s previous collections include How Our Bodies Learned, The Love That Moves Me, and Packing Light: New and Selected Poems. She served two terms as Knoxville Poet Laureate, June 2018—June 2020, and was inducted into the East Tennessee Literary Hall of Fame in 2005. She is professor emerita at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she taught for 37 years.

Tagged: , ,