BECAUSE THERE WERE PINK PETALS ON THE FIRST OF MAY
By Erin Lyndal Martin
somewhere sometime I’ll say the last thing that I’ll ever say to you.
it makes me feel lonely now. if I see your light on when I drive
home I’ll knock on your door with a box of pizza and a bottle of wine.
it’s the least I can do. that and staying silent during the game
shows, letting you whisper the answers to yourself like a liturgy. I
would like that. it would remind me why I love you. and maybe I
would mention again how someone you didn’t know dreamed of you
dressing that way that you never dressed, not way back then, but how
you have stitched yourself to me now like pages in a book made from
yarn and cardboard where the letters are the height of knuckles
and I am reading this to you again over the din of classic rock and
law students comparing notes on esculpatory evidence and a little girl
in a striped shirt who is picking up littered cigarette boxes and I
think her father is going to tell her to stay away from them but
instead she rips off the proof of purchase so he can send it in to get
some reward or another, and then she is putting the box top under the
ashtray to keep the wind from blowing it away
and I am thinking that someone somewhere would be sad to see the way
you talk to me, jealous even, and how this line crooks like an
interstate is wiggling through whatever strange messiness we’re bound
for, awkward and jagged, the way the roads look on that old trucker’s
atlas you have where we spread it out on the whole sofa and point at
places we used to live and places we’ll go once we leave alabama and
the hackberry trees and the exoskeletons of palmetto bugs that litter
and I think you’ll still say beautiful things about me
not because I was beautiful, not all the time at least
but because that’s in your nature and I will love you for it
the past few days while you’ve been away, I’ve thought about watering
when you are really gone, I will take advantage of vertical space and
stack things up high in my inevitably small apartments because of you
and I will know that you are getting drunk and napping in stairwells,
or you are writing painful stories about old men who make their own
artifacts and swim out beyond the shore to leave them in a lake.
at night the am radio will toss and turn between collegiate sports and
conspiracy theories and scraps of donna summer will rain in like
confetti. I didn’t think I could miss you. I didn’t think I
(Today’s poem previously appeared in The Offending Adam, and appears here today with permission from the poet.)
Erin Lyndal Martin is a poet, fiction writer, and music journalist. Her work has recently appeared in Guernica, InDigest, and Crowd. She is associate fiction editor for H_ngm_n and runs the music website Euterpe’s Notebook.
Editor’s Note: Today’s poem knows a future wound. Picks at said wound; will not let it settle. Today’s poem knows the heartache is in the details, that memory and foresight exist on one plane, that it is not time, but inevitability, that will get the better of exposed organs.