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The Volumetric Properties of an Asphalt Road
Danny Earl Simmons


Va = Air Voids

The quick inhalation
after bending a peek
at two dealt aces ?
a tell nobody sees
but the guy
with the kings
who folds
against your all in.
The worry between,
“Where did you go,”
“I needed a little space,”
and “Can I please have a kiss?”
The inability to respond
over the phone
after you’ve been asked
if you’re sitting down.

VMA = Voids in Mineral Aggregate

Postholes, a tilled vegetable patch,
an aerated lawn. Where that old tree
used to be before the roots went bad
and the stump got hauled away.
One rectangular space you’re hoping
all five will come to cry over.
A dry riverbed of things left unsaid.

VFA = Voids Filled with Asphalt

Old photos. Sharing a banana split.
The sound of “huggy, huggy, huggy”
coming from two feet off the ground
before you can even sit down
to take off your boots. Remembering
the taste of lemon on your fingers
as you picked translucent bones
from each bite of the mountain trout
you caught the summer after you discovered girls.
The way she tilts her head and smiles while waiting
for you to agree that you were wrong.

This poem first appeared in The Pedestal Magazine.
Used here with the author’s permission.

Danny Earl Simmons is an Oregonian and a proud graduate of Corvallis High School. He is a friend of the Linn-Benton Community College Poetry Club and his poems have appeared in a variety of journals.  Danny also enjoys community theater. Learn more about him at


Post New Comment:
Now thta's a poem! Dissolves boundaries between disparate things.
Posted 08/26/2015 10:17 AM
Larry Schug:
I second all of the above comments. I've read it three times already and get more from these words each time I read it.
Posted 08/26/2015 09:38 AM
Sondy Squirrelly:
Unique, logical scientific approach to loneliness...a juxtaposition of emotion thrust through formulas unusual for measuring feeling... The space, empty "one rectangle...your hoping all five will come to cry over". Brilliant poem.
Posted 08/26/2015 09:31 AM
I have given up the idea of "one rectangular space."
Posted 08/26/2015 08:54 AM
Such a different and interesting poem and filled with details that are oh so true. I love it.
Posted 08/26/2015 08:31 AM
Very, very interesting in so many ways. Love the way each section gets heavier. Well done!
Posted 08/26/2015 08:03 AM
Living, true, subtle. A true poem.
Posted 08/26/2015 07:32 AM
Great poem, great title.
Posted 08/26/2015 06:42 AM
Me too. Arguably the best I've read in months and months!
Posted 08/26/2015 05:28 AM
Love this poem, Dan.
Posted 08/26/2015 05:25 AM

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