Two Poems by Lucinda Watson


“A basic resistance to flow measurable by viscometers and rheometers. Also a measure of its resistance to gradual deformation by shear stress or tensile stress.” —Wikipedia, 2017

The viscous fluid of a person can be measured by their decisions
about love, work, and the world. This is done when dying
with a viscometer. Choices to stay or go, choices to listen
or ignore; like the bird still east in coldest January,
optimism is good for viscosity flow, but it’s rarer these days.
It’s a secret known only to certain death attendants.
All are born with the same ability to be agile
but many accumulate thickening agents like depression, rage,
and anxiety.

As you get older you might become more fluid
or less so, in which case you are cemented in place in your mind.
In looking around I’m seeing a lot of stuck people.
This time I think it’s fear.


If I hadn’t asked who you were having dinner with that night
I wouldn’t be crazy lost now and you wouldn’t have moved to
Connecticut with an eyebrowed cooking woman: something I would
never be.
If I hadn’t asked if you liked sleeping alone maybe
we would have grown accustomed to each other sighing
into our dreams, a hip teaspooned into a hip, yours so much
fuller than mine, sailing on into the night, no navigational devices needed.
Bacon for breakfast.
If I hadn’t read her emails maybe I could have forgotten the alert messages
coming almost daily into my cerebral cortex. Messages telling me the ice was
thin though it was late summer.
If I hadn’t asked why you were leaving maybe I would still believe you
did love me though now I see all I need to do is be silent and I’ll
never learn that.

Lucinda Watson‘s book of nonfiction, How They Achieved, was published in 2001 by Wiley Publishing. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Evening Street Review, Healing Muse, Inkwell, Jelly Bucket, Lindenwood Review, Louisville Review, Pennsylvania English, Penmen Review, Poet Lore, The Round, SLAB, and Stickman Review.  She is a member of American Pen Women. She received her master’s degrees in writing from Manhattanville College and communication from San Francisco State University.