This is Not Rhode Island
Poems by Erin Elizabeth
"It is absurd to think that providence is quiet."
Mary scours the frost from a folding chair,
gathers her legs, sprays her skirt over the flares
of her knees.
Winter streets with their burnished breath,
sloppy shoulders, rest abandoned, and the mulberry
moon, lodged in the front yard sycamore, is sick
with its own slumber. New snow, fissured on the holly
drowses, dines on her attention. She mangles
the poor pavement of it with a stone.
"This is not Rhode Island. This is not New York.
This is a place where front doors aren't hinged,
and winter is let to fester in its own filth."
She unsheathes her legs, stands again, flinging her hat
in a snarled sphere against the brick of her house.
"I will set this town ablaze."
The traffic light, three moons on the snow,
shifts, and she pulls at the holly, quietly.