Mark J. Mitchell
For Herself on her birthday
Between all those long improvisations
that keep you distracted while she's gone,
torch singers breathe out standards.
The blithe melodies tickle and the intricate
rhymes play you like a game. You listen often
while she's on the road, your apartment empty,
knowing that each perfect love song
was written only to honor her.
Mark J. Mitchell studied writing at UC Santa Cruz under Raymond Carver, George Hitchcock and Barbara Hull. His work has appeared in various periodicals over the last thirty five years, as well as the anthologies Good Poems, American Places,Hunger Enough, and Line Drives. His chapbook, Three Visitors will be published by Negative Capability Press later this year and his novels, The Magic War and Knight Prisoner will be published in the coming months. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, the documentarian and filmmaker Joan Juster.