James B. Nicola




One Day a Year

I like the quiet way of being. Stay
past evening, ask me anything, and know
all you want until next Valentine’s Day,

which is the only day I act this way.
Otherwise, I enjoy the nameless flow
and like the quiet way of being. Stay

till morning, if you’d like—or know you may,
at least. And know that you might come and go
all you want until next Valentine’s Day,

but know too that the louder you delay,
the longer we are, the more I’ll want to show
I like the quiet way of being. Stay

and find out. We don’t have to be risqué
if that’s not your style. You can tease me though
all you want until next Valentine’s Day:

I never lock my door, you see. So—. Hey,
what’s your last name? No, you don’t have to say:
I like the quiet. Either way, though, stay
all you want until next Valentine’s Day.



James B. Nicola's poems have appeared stateside in the Antioch, Southwest, and Atlanta Reviews; Rattle; Tar River; Poetry East; and in many journals in Europe and Canada. He is the featured poet in the current issue of Westward Quarterly, having once received the same honor from New Formalist. A Yale graduate, he won a Dana Literary Award, two Willow Review awards, a People's Choice award (from Storyteller), and four Pushcart nominations—from Shot Glass Journal, Parody, and twice from Trinacria—for which he feels both stunned and grateful. His nonfiction book Playing the Audience won a Choice award. His poetry collections are Manhattan Plaza (2014), Stage to Page: Poems from the Theater (2016), Wind in the Cave (2017), and Out of Nothing: Poems of Art and Artists (2018).








                                    

 

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