During Mary Jo Salter’s craft lecture, I wrote this poem. Enjoy:
After W.D. Snodgrass
I started smoking when I was 25.
It was a good age: I had eloped three years earlier to a sailor,
And now he was gone, deployed, and here I am smoking.
To say I dream of breaking vases or fantasize of throwing a chair out the window is happenstance:
Like our marriage,
Like the time before we met.
14 and I had the whole world in front of us.
Grey smoke lifting before me, my hand shaking at the weight of a cigarette:
To say I miss you is happenstance
To say I’m gone, deployed, numb–
when I’m still here, standing in our living room–
isn’t it a truth now past?
isn’t it a Marlboro Light’s ashes
falling between my fingers?