On Being Asked Who the You Is in My Poems by Julie Ramon

Julieramon.jpg    -after Paul Guest


It’s not the you in Kansas that’s always ahead of me

or calling me out on my bullshit.

It’s the you that just ran past my window,

slinking low to stay out of sight,

only looking back once

to see if anyone’s watching before

disappearing like rain into the street

drain.Or, the you, in your old age, that caught

a view of my barely-there underwear

presented by the wind, a gift timidly given.

Another you figured out she doesn’t want

her husband, but to live

alone, drink, and finish the novel

about the boy with the birthmark

who had too much to drink and sat

upside down on the sofa until

there was no difference

between birthmark and skin. A color

that kept changing like forgotten

Eastereggs in white coffee mugs.

No like you who calls me

from a deep sleep in the middle

of the night. Arms stretched, you reach

for me and I for you until you becomes me

with no space in between, just breath.

~ Julie Ramon

Julie Ramon is an English instructor, specializing in English as a second language, at Pittsburg State University in Kansas. She graduated with an M.F.A from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. Her poems “Making Tamales” and “Making Tortillas” were recently published in the literary food magazine, Graze. She enjoys baking and selling cakes from home on weekends. She lives in Joplin, Missouri with her husband and son.

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, guest editor for Dec., is the 2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate, author or editor of 19 books, and founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College, where she teaches. More on her here.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s