By Erin Lyndal Martin

somewhere sometime I’ll say the last thing that I’ll ever say to you.

it makes me feel lonely now.     if I see your light on when I drive

home I’ll knock on your door with a box of pizza and a bottle of wine.

it’s the least I can do. that and staying silent during the game

shows, letting you whisper the answers to yourself like a liturgy. I

would like that. it would remind me why I love you.          and maybe I

would mention again how someone you didn’t know dreamed of you

dressing that way that you never dressed, not way back then, but how

you have stitched yourself to me now like pages in a book made from

yarn and cardboard where the letters are the height of knuckles

and I am reading this to you again over the din of classic rock and

law students comparing notes on esculpatory evidence and a little girl

in a striped shirt who is picking up littered cigarette boxes and I

think her father is going to tell her to stay away from them but

instead she rips off the proof of purchase so he can send it in to get

some reward or another, and then she is putting the box top under the

ashtray to keep the wind from blowing it away

and I am thinking that someone somewhere would be sad to see the way

you talk to me, jealous even, and how this line crooks like an

interstate is wiggling through whatever strange messiness we’re bound

for, awkward and jagged, the way the roads look on that old trucker’s

atlas you have where we spread it out on the whole sofa and point at

places we used to live and places we’ll go once we leave alabama and

the hackberry trees and the exoskeletons of palmetto bugs that litter

our floors

and I think you’ll still say beautiful things about me

not because I was beautiful, not all the time at least

but because that’s in your nature
and I will love you for it

the past few days while you’ve been away, I’ve thought about watering

your plants.

when you are really gone, I will take advantage of vertical space and

stack things up high in my inevitably small apartments because of you

and I will know that you are getting drunk and napping in stairwells,

or you are writing painful stories about old men who make their own

artifacts and swim out beyond the shore to leave them in a lake.

at night the am radio will toss and turn between collegiate sports and

conspiracy theories and scraps of donna summer will rain in like

confetti.        I didn’t think I could miss you. I didn’t think I

could not.

(Today’s poem previously appeared in The Offending Adam, and appears here today with permission from the poet.)

Erin Lyndal Martin is a poet, fiction writer, and music journalist. Her work has recently appeared in Guernica, InDigest, and Crowd. She is associate fiction editor for H_ngm_n and runs the music website Euterpe’s Notebook.

Editor’s Note: Today’s poem knows a future wound. Picks at said wound; will not let it settle. Today’s poem knows the heartache is in the details, that memory and foresight exist on one plane, that it is not time, but inevitability, that will get the better of exposed organs.

Want to see more by and about Erin Lyndal Martin?
The Offending Adam

About Sivan Butler-Rotholz

Sivan is the Managing Editor of the Saturday Poetry Series on As It Ought To Be and holds an MFA from Brooklyn College. She is a professor, writer, editor, comic artist, and attorney emerita. She is also the founder of Reviving Herstory. Sivan welcomes feedback, poetry submissions, and solicitations of her writing via email at sivan.sf [at] gmail [dot] com.
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