Jay Deshpande is the author of Love the Stranger, named a top debut of 2015 by Poets & Writers, and of the chapbook The Rest of the Body (both from YesYes Books). His poems have appeared in Boston Review, Denver Quarterly, Narrative, and elsewhere. A graduate of Harvard University and Columbia University’s School of the Arts, he has received fellowships or support from Kundiman, Civitella Ranieri, Saltonstall Arts Colony, and the Key West Literary Seminar. He is at work on a collection of poems and on a book of translations of Egyptian surrealist Georges Henein. In the fall he will be a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.
AFTERNOON, OR BLUEBONNET
My earliest memory is holding one,
Midday though I told it my closed fist awake
_____Was another to hand altogether.
And I rode on that, thought boarded up green as it got
Its own feet in me the slow way,
_____The slow highway between islands.
My parents put me there in tender wilds where none
Was so much mine as an hour.
_____Don’t let me out of it, I said as sung to many.
I kept the teeth of my fingers clutched around green that
Called out blue until it left me, or sun did, and waited for longing
_____To love to pick me up.