The Man without Metaphor


The man without metaphor didn’t want to be a slime-ball,
a jerk, a jack, a dick. He looked out of the window
where the wind was blowing. Just let me look, he said.

But the wind was turning the great flat branches of the spruce
into giant mittens bouncing invisible Tai-chi balls.
The wind was rumpling the pale green sheets of the willow.

He looked back at his bed. A woman was lying there.
She seemed to be sleeping. When had she appeared?
Had he slept with her? No, he had slept . . . with her

beside him. He wanted to be the wind, he wanted
to rumple her soft white pillows, he wanted to jump start
this woman lying in his bed, but he couldn’t

because he did not allow himself to think that way.
He was a man without metaphor. No humping, screwing,
jazzing, sex with a bicycle, a plank. He wanted her.

Just her. Metaphors are dangerous, he always said.
This morning let us simply join, conjugate, connect.
I’m too sleepy, she said, and fell back to snoring.

But who could accuse him of not being romantic?

Lois Marie Harrod’s 16th and most recent collection Nightmares of the Minor Poet appeared in June 2016 from Five Oaks. Her chapbook And She Took the Heart appeared in January 2016, and Fragments from the Biography of Nemesis (Cherry Grove Press) and the chapbook How Marlene Mae Longs for Truth (Dancing Girl Press) appeared in 2013. She is continually published in literary journals and ezines from American Poetry Review to Zone 3. She teaches Creative Writing at The College of New Jersey. Links to her online work at