Original poem reprinted online here: "poem I wrote sitting across the table from you" by Kevin Varrone
Originally read: October 16, 2013
More information about the Poet: Kevin Varrone
The title of the poem plays on the romantic ideal. Well, at least from me. The idea of creating something for another person as they wait. And this is my problem, no where in the title does it indicate the purpose of writing across from someone. There could be implications, like the couplet form, but nothing really solid. I think the poem plays with this idea.
"if I had two nickels to rub together / I would rub them together" the affirmation of intent. But this is stated and then pushed further through a simile, "like a kid rubs sticks together / until friction made combustion" now this is what is anticipated -- the reaction.
And even though these are in couplet forms, note how the actual and the simile are two lines each as though to show a connection, but separate them enough to be individual ideas. But the poem continues to go further with the burning:
and they burned
a hole in my pocket
into which I would put my hand
and then my whole arm
and eventually m whole self--
I would fold myself
Two things of note. The usage of "and" for each stanza adds an element of improvisation. The speaker is making this up as he goes along -- and with this energy the speaker goes through the surreal, but more importantly, head first into the reaction -- a response.
And so the black hole that the I speaker created expands far enough, "into the hole in my pocket and disappear / into the pocket of myself, or at least my pants" into humor based in hyperbole that can, perhaps, transfer over:
but before I did
like some ancient star
I'd grab your hand.
And for the longest time I've been thinking of the cosmos since the poem plays in that direction. And perhaps it does. However, the "ancient" could refer to a past technique in which the actual of "grab your hand" can occur outside the speaker's self black hole. In either case, the you enters in at the end more as a symbol.