by Deborrah Corr

His name came back to me today

unfolding itself from the creases
of memory. For months, years
I couldn’t conjure up its syllables.
I can’t remember the contours of his face
nor how his hair rested on his scalp.
I only recall the shape of him
hovered over me in the bed
I’d travelled across states
to crawl into. As if I needed
the outlines of a new skin
after I’d shrugged off my own
too quickly, trusting that the moment
loved me, that I could step out
into nothing and be held up
by friendly prevailing winds.
Everything I owned in two canvas bags.
So young, so full of heat, not yet
tumbled down the hillside of magic.
Those winds muffled the hoof beats
of humiliation racing the Trailways,
shucking beads of sweat
until they overtook me. Four days,
thirty dollars in my pocket,
and I was back on the bus. Back
to where I thought I’d closed
a door forever and found
my dried-up skin laid out
and waiting on the floor,
the letters of his name
dismembered among my things.


Photo by Steve Johnson