Allison P. Brown


Sharp and curved with the distinct
impression of what’s gone, like the footprint
in the snow. Swirl of tread, slight
indentation on the outer edge that says exactly
how that person walked, clues to what should
be standing, full in flesh, fleshed imagination,
curl on temple, soft earlobe.
The winter leaves in its tumult of chill, grime,
a wake of the almost forgotten—items slipped
from fingers which later nag with an itch
for retrieval. A lottery ticket, a glove,
a condom, a girl’s number. I would tell you
if I could, Kelly, he’s not going to call. Not because
you weren’t beautiful, breath fogging
around your red mouth, chattering teeth.
You’re safer there, I would say, suspended in the transit
and commerce of lost things where no one
is making love, but thinking of it.

Allison P. Brown's work has appeared in Books & Culture and Green Hills Literary Lantern. She is a Boston-area writer and work at a library.

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