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Sheila Black

I remember how you spoke—as if every word

were water in a desert. You didn’t want

to go to Denny’s with me that day.  I knew this,

but I was so foolishly happy just to sit

across from you and your two eggs

over easy with a crisp of bacon.  Love,

the abnegation.  You liked the virga I

showed you – appearing out of nowhere

to darken a sky.  I don’t miss you exactly,

but I glimpse you often in the gestures

of men I will never know – their regrettable

tattoos, deep knowledge of bridges.

What is worse than almost or not quite?

You, my tiny Pluto, all glittery with hard-won ice.

Consider the tangent—the odd and terrible

fact that it draws closer. A stillness like finding

“starlight” in the middle of a grocery list.



Sheila Black is the author of five poetry collections most recently Radium Dream (Salmon Poetry, Ireland). Poems and essays have appeared in Poetry, Kenyon Review Online, Blackbird, The Birmingham Review, The New York Times, and elsewhere. She is a co-editor of Beauty is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability (Cinco Puntos Press, 2011). She is a co-founder of Zoeglossia, a non-profit to build community for poets with disabilities. 

Photo Credit: Emilee Luke, "Rocky Shore"

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