Carmen Jost Flickr CC
First Love / Late Summer
Spent the day picturing you in
a wool-lined jacket with little clouds
billowing from your mouth,
a rainbow of Christmas lights
I’d rather drag you back into the hot
mud than watch you go
and scrub yourself new, fall into
someone else’s autumn.
Leaving with my arms wrapped
around myself, you drive toward her
and I long to slice through our moments,
a collection of boxes of German chocolate
and nights on a cracked brown leather sofa,
and unlearn you.
Cantos for the Morning After
My limits lie in the dishes in the sink.
There is nothing to be said of breakfast –
it’s all too much. Leaving and plucking
the last few pieces of myself from the folds
in the sheets. It wasn’t a mistake.
A milk white cow rotting in the middle of a field
the morning I drive home and scrub every part of my body
until I am red and raw and new.
The glass on my dresser fills with morning.
I stand in a towel in the middle of my bedroom
and let the light rebirth me.
I didn’t make a mistake.
You knew the moment was just a moment,
and the evening curls in on itself like a dying leaf.
I’m full of scarlet and coal. I rip paintings off the walls.
I take your tablecloth in my hands and yank it –
the table setting comes with it.
Which is the moment I loved most?
The one with your hand on my cheek
and a promise that, next time, we’d have breakfast,
or the one with the snow cold absence?
I felt it all in my stomach when you got out of bed.
We both know which moment I preferred.
I won’t forget it –
the cow decaying in the grass. Its greying brain,
a mirror facing me.
In the reflection, I am packing up
all the things that sting and hiding them away.
Grace Lytle is a young poet from Houston, Texas. She has previously been published in Canvas Literary Journal and 45th Parallel Magazine, among others. She loves black coffee and the winter. Her website is gelytle.wixsite.com/portfolio.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.