Today's poem is by Erin Malone


Stranger, one whole side
of my face is sliding.
I can't smile right. A hillside, this body

isn't what I thought. Like a foreign country
it demands instructions: Lay out and identify

all parts. Who am I to drive
its unknown, ingrown roads? The waxy
nasturtiums closed against orange

parking lights, all the blind curves. My map
won't fold & I need even simple things
spelled out, the words

for house, the room that means
a kitchen. Unwrap before cooking.
Cook before eating.
Until now I've avoided

eye contact but like the flowers
my flame is low. Please will you offer

your assistance? Here I don't know how to say
my name, but am learning to read
the smallest gestures.

Copyright © 2007 Erin Malone All rights reserved
from Beloit Poetry Journal
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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