Poetry: Someday I’ll Love Danielle DeTiberus by Danielle DeTiberus

In “Someday I’ll Love Danielle DeTiberus,” the speaker battles with the poet and the person: Danielle DeTiberus, herself. Confessional and defiant, this persona poem excites on many levels.

Someday I’ll Love Danielle DeTiberus


Even though she doesn’t exactly exist.

Born a Saint, dropped the name before


She bled, before her body even had time

To sin. Though, that’s not exactly true either,


Danielle, now is it. Something happened to you—

Your therapist asked what good would come from


Knowing, and at first you’d wanted to

Hit her. But now you’re thankful for your mind’s


Unlit corners. A Do Not Disturb sign still left

On a few dead-end-doors. Whatever happened


To Danielle, some part of her knew to dig until

She hit stone. And then to bury it deeper than that.


To fissure stone with water over time. Water beats

Rock, but so does paper. Oh, Danielle, everyone knows


You can never shut up. So why should only

Men get to say their names in poems. Even if


All your poems are about one thing— because

You can’t stand to take in everything at once.


You let all the herbs in your garden flower because

The dill looked like yellow stardust, the cilantro


Bolted to snow. Now the green leaves taste

Bitter as the parts of yourself that will never


Flower. You’re impractical and greedy.

Whenever you feel like loving yourself, try


To forget what your mother said to you. She is

Also waiting to love herself. And the only woman


More dangerous than one who loves herself

Is the one who can’t quite yet, but knows she should.


Someday, too, Danielle will love the speaker

Of her poems— who’s always trying to make sense,


Make new, make right. The truth is, even though

She can write anything she wants, there’s always


A body, a mother, a failure, a flower. Stones and

Bones ground down to dust. Always something


Missing and her hunger and your hunger:

A hungry Danielle caterpillar waiting


To transform into some winged thing. Danielle,

I’d wanted to love you by the end of this poem,


But instead I’ve made you into a worm again.

Forgive me, I keep wanting to split us in two.


Danielle DeTiberus, someday, someday soon.

Danielle DeTiberus

Danielle DeTiberus teaches creative writing in Charleston, SC. Her work has appeared in Academy of American Poets, Best American Poetry, Copper Nickel, The Missouri Review, Waxwing and elsewhere. She currently serves as the Program Chair for the Poetry Society of South Carolina, bringing nationally renowned poets to Charleston for readings and seminars. Find more work at danielledetiberus.com and tweet at her @DDeTiberus.

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