Behind Haymarket by <a href='http://blogs.ssrc.org/tif/author/floyde/'target='_blank'>Emily Floyd</a>
Behind Haymarket by Emily Floyd

Your Phone

When I broke my phone

I took yours, old maybe,

but working, since you almost never used it.

I found your messages inside, all from me

will call soon, hello, hello!

Idiot girl—how could you speak like that to the dead?

Walking, swimming a little.

A cold river on the edge of a marsh.

I can see you, in blue swim trunks,

your hesitant breaststroke

never putting your face below water.

It’s dawn, maybe there are cormorants

voiceless voiceless going down in silence.



In spring you remember yourself as you were,

touching the objects in your father’s office—

A breeze, a child reaching for the paperweight,

a prism of leaves in crystal,

a lifting of words on white paper.

Behind the desk

the gifts strangers give you

when you cry in public—the long knife

of a palm leaf folded into a flower,

a rabbit to place on your bed

like a doll—

photographs in a box, places you traveled,

a collection of fountains

flowing down an empty street,

some lindens perhaps, street vendors

thickening the air with salt.

Now, at the window

the sun rises like a slit bubble

the stars sea anemones,

slipping in a touched sky—

Spring, and you remember yourself as you are,

the grass in the field is underwater.

Horses graze, rib cages lifting

like tides of bone.

Their breath is white as a page,

the pages of an autobiography,

in a distance that doesn’t exist—

the quick limits of the child,

vanishing into the light.