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Arts and Entertainment

The Ineffable

 When the ineffable becomes the silent treatment.   A poem by Cleveland Heights writer and WKSU contributor George Bilgere.

George Bilgere
Courtesy of Petteri Sulonen
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The Ineffable is from poet George Bilgere, a winner of the Ohioana Poetry Award and a favorite of Garrison’s Keillor’s Writers Almanac.   

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The Ineffable


I’m sitting here reading the paper,

feeling warm and satisfied, basically content

with my life and all I have achieved.

Then I go up for a refill and suddenly realize

how much happier I could be with the barista.

Late thirties, hennaed hair, an ahnk

or something tattooed on her heel,

a little diamond on the side of her nose.

There’s some mystery surrounding why she’s here,

pouring coffee and toasting bagels at her age.

But there’s a lot of torsion when she walks,

which is interesting.  I can sense right away

how it would all work out between us.


We’d get a loft in the artsy part of town,

and I can see how we’d look shopping together

at our favorite organic market

on a snowy winter Saturday,

snowflakes in our hair,

our arms full of leeks and shiitake mushrooms.

We would do tai chi in the park.

She’d be one of the few people

who actually “gets” my poetry

which I’d read to her in bed.

And I can see us making love, by candlelight,

struggling to find words for the ineffable.

We never dreamed it could be like this.


And it would all be great, for many months,

until one day, unable to help myself,

I’d say something about that nose stud.

Like, do you really need to wear that tonight

at Sarah and Mike’s house, Sarah and Mike being

pediatricians who intimidate me slightly

with their effortless cool, and serious money.

And she would give me a look,

a certain lifting of the eyebrows

I can see she’s capable of, and right there

that would be the end of the ineffable.

Related Links & Resources
George Bilgere homepage

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