A Letter Larger Than
Poems by Erin Elizabeth
I am alone. And not well.
Walking Main today I saw someone with your ill-constructed nose
toting two children, each with marble hands. He was carrying a bag,
wrung like laundry in his right, and an umbrella, as poor protection
against promised squall.
On a day less like today, when there are no hurricane warnings,
ceremonious city ordinances, I might have asked him the time
seeking some shrapnel of your voice, but instead I found a bench,
curled my legs like soft pretzels. I tried to look like someone
you would recognize, who would turn your paper
eyes and cross your feet in halting movement. I overlapped
my legs, with motion so slow as to snapshot the obtuse angles,
but there was no moment of pause, no road construction
to cease your alacrity.
So I studied you from between aluminum notebook ringlets
and thought to write, to tell you that you didn't look back.
That though it wasn't you, it could have been,
and my world would have slowed to a tropical storm,
moving at an inconsistent pace. Wanting to say something
that would pull apart the incongruity of your absence, promise you
that I would not be Semele, deconstructing upon your nudity,
if I could draw you again, with your hand watermarking my thigh,
even if I was well. Or not alone.