Today's poem is by Ari Banias


There is too much to catch up on.
For example, I was once
a sundress on a splintery
swingset in Texas. The world
was made of yellow grass struggling
to live in sand, sand everywhere
beyond our fence, across the street,
sand that could have drowned us.
But didn't.
Because it was a border town
there were other others so we sort of
belonged. The cacti looked religiously
stoic, held promise, as did the mountains,
cast pink in the waning sun. Then we packed up.
In Illinois I tried to build a kind of Midwestern
girlhood that failed and failed
into the shape of a flute
I played only high notes on.
I stopped eating meat, stopped speaking Greek.
Became an ear.
Now the only one I remember from that time
is the girl who looked like a boy or maybe
was one, who walked the same way home as me,
same coat, same sneakers,
who I never once greeted, just repeated
his-her name to myself: Dominick? Dominique?
Massively old trees canopied the cobbled streets.
The houses set so far apart you'd hear neither
argument nor song. Dominick.
Not a stitch of recognition
passed between us.

Copyright © 2012 Ari Banias All rights reserved
from Sycamore Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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