Rosalie Moffett


Sitting at the top of the steps
I think of last September:
The fragrant apple-thumped grass of fall front yards,
And un-husked walnuts,
Sitting my friend on a stool and cutting his thick hair
With orange-handled scissors.
Not thinking really, except in the way that shapes
Move heedlessly through the back of your head
When you are kissing someone,
Or waiting to fall asleep.

They are always present:
The apples, the scissors, the stool
Moving across some canvas
The way the swifts do, waiting
To spiral into the chimney.

I let them be,
Still, suspended.
When I see him, his hair long again, I want to
Ask him what itís like to be the son of a Montgomery Alabama lawyer:
Hitching away from school and
Sleeping on the floor of the Arcata gem store
Chin tucked against the triangular scar
From the tracheal tube, and then somewhere, underneath his hair,
The real scar from the tumor. I want to ask what is always
Moving for him across the canvas
Of a sky with birds, or the damp thick husks
Of walnuts.

Rosalie Moffett is an emerging writer who received her bachelorís degree in English at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Her poem "Canvases" originally appeared in Blood Lotus.

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