• history ever repeats (a brief history of six relationships) by Jim Warner

    “If you really wanted to screw me up, you should’ve gotten to me earlier.”

     ~ Rob Gordon (High Fidelity)

    A field trip. Rittenhouse Square.
    Picked a daisy; pushed it through
    a buttonhole.  Blue coat.  February
    weather.  You were glacial.
    Hands froze to your collar.  You.
    Detached. Contract like veins.

    A plural possessive.  Our dorm room couch.
    Petals wilting in waterless bottles. You
    were drunk.  Your father’s birthday. No
    cake.  Just candles.  Listen to Dead
    Flowers; turnover like vinyl in my sleep.  

    A coffee cup found in the grass.
    Overtaken. High tides and ragweed.  Your
    sewing machine hums unfamiliar songs. My
    car. Picture of Provincetown sewn into hems.
    Poems in spilled wine and broken dishes.

    A borrowed pickup truck.  Thirty-three.  
    I had already been to Stillwater. Camped
    in the shadow of St. Louis.  Their diamond
    anniversary. We grow, contract. Expand.
    Returned my heart to the stripmines.  You
    dated flea markets and auctions.

    A cancer left nothing but an empty bed.

    A pigeon feather.  Fire escapes into blind alleys.
    Roses in a dumpster.  Broken vase smashed
    into fake diamonds.  Iceless fingers. Muzzle flash.
    We got quiet.  Like snow still falling.  I’m awake.
    It’s just coffee.  Blood dries like ink. Contract.
    A different you.


    Jim Warner's writing has appeared in various journals including The North American Review, RHINO Poetry, Heavy Feather Review. He is the author of two prior collections, Too Bad It's Poetry and social studies (PaperKite Press). Warner is the host of the literary podcast Citizen Lit and teaches poetry in Arcadia University's MFA program.

    Street Artist unknown.
    Photo by Adam Lawrence.

    Fyans is a London-based R&B band and "Two Birds" is debut single. 

    "history ever repeats (a brief history of six relationships)" was published in its original form/title (Six Flowers from Now) in the Dr. TJ Eckleburg Review back in 2014. We're honored to reprint it in its current form in celebration of the forthcoming release of Warner's new poetry collection Actual Miles.