after Claudia Cortese
I dream myself into a field that is lime green. There is a branch in my lungs, and I can’t love like I used to. This is a ghost story. The end of it includes a baby blue Corvette half drowned in the lake, starts with the time you lost me in the Gymboree, crying in every shade of the primary color wheel. Five years later I am tugging on the plastic orange choker hooked around my neck. I can’t remember all the words to Joy To The World by Three Dog Night even though it filled the basement that winter, the year I found out I would have had an older brother if– The record skips and loops. We reverse. The field regrows itself, brighter than last time. When I wake up, everything is the color of spring and dripping.
The Way It Was
In her memory, it happens like this: She watches the bottle
as it spins around once, twice, a third, glass green like
mangroves, like river, like unripened fruit. When it slides
to a rest the floor melts like taffy in the sun. She sinks right
in, like a stingray into wet sand. She splits in two, one half
globed in swirling glitter, the other thudding into the gray
carpet she’s stuck to, palms salted and dripping. She goes
home crying in the passenger seat, the other half of her still
knocking at the glass.
Lake St. Mary
after Gianna Russo
In the red station wagon, my father’s silence.
Eight years old in the back seat, my hands tangled.
Staring out the window at western Montana:
a smear of stone, blue and green and avalanche.
I ride a bowed horse, holding its heaviness in
my chest for the entire drive back east. He went
galloping through the ferns, and there was no
sound the way there is no sound underwater–
later, my mother’s music filling the car.
She holds my father’s silence in her chest,
liking the way it swells and fades around
every turn in the road.