Off the Map
Seven cities later I realize I've forgotten the shape
of your lisp, how quickly you lick the scoop from the cone.
In Bernadette, the monks were making cherry cordial.
I dreamt of that mole behind your ear, dreamt I was there plucking
a silver hair. Starlight seemed pale by comparison.
The rain in Riverlip and Heptown made me weep.
Too much future is an unreliable bridge. I called you
when it collapsed but you never answer on even-numbered days.
I may have left the pay phone in Farmington connected.
Overhead the planes fly faster, trying to achieve
a final destination. Souls repeating lives.
Not in Salome despite the footprints beside the strip club.
Remember when we dipped our fingers in chocolate
and hedonism? I'd like to do that again.
I've forgotten Fitzburrough, which may be just as well.
The postcard in my pocket shows a half-eaten fig and two
smiling nuns. The nights are cold. I miss the gap
between your front teeth, the way air moves through it when you gasp.
There are few lights here in Tuba City. It's easy to see the comet
coming straight for me. Light through a tunnel.
Ann Walters lives in the Pacific Northwest where she writes almost as often as it rains. Her poetry has appeared in Poetry International, Poet Lore, The Pedestal Magazine, The Orange Room Review, and many others. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee.