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December 22, 2020 Poetry


Emily Lake Hansen

Luxury photo


This September the cool
air has come quickly
and I’m in love with how
it crawls into my belly,
smooths its long creases
on the bones of my esophagus.
What a luxury — to feel
     something pleasant
after months of doing
laundry in the damp.
     I know it’s selfish
to focus on pleasure
at a time like this
     when we’re counting
the animals
     two by two, when
we’re stocking the yard
with tomatoes
     and chives

but I watch you when I should
be watching the news, track
your eyes like a headline scroll
     Breaking     I’ve memorized
the folds of your face, I’m busy
categorizing your tattoos by type.
               In my dreams,
I clutch at you endlessly. Did
you know that when you look
back at me it’s like you’re breaking
all the nails at once, loosening
the joists of the old house
          the groundwater, the rainwater
          the groundswell, the downspout
all undamned until I’m water
kneed and knocked out? Easier
to say aloud I want you, open
the windows to the wind at night.

image: D.T. Robbins