Poem of the Day. Linda Hull

Redazione Italia, April 30, 2016


after hours of wine I can almost see

the night
gliding in low off the harbor

down the
long avenues of shop windows

mannequins, perfect in their gestures.

I leave
water steaming on the gas ring

sometimes I can slip from my body,

almost find
the sinlge word to prevent evenings

that absolve
nothing, a winter lived alone

and cold.
Rooms where you somehow marry

the losses
of strangers that tremble

on the walks
like the hands

of the
dancer next door, luminous

Methedrine, she taps walls for hours

about the silver she swears

lines the
building, the hallways

where each
night drunks stammer their

usual rosary
until they come to rest

beneath the
tarnished numbers, the bulbs

that star
each ceiling.

I must tell
you I am afraid to sit here

myself to the hour’s slow erasure

until I know
myself only by this cold weight,

this hand on
my lap, palm up.

I want to
still the dancer’s hands

in mine, to
talk about forgiveness

and what we
leave behind – faces

and cities,
the small emergencies

of nights. I
say nothing, but

leaning on
the sill, I watch her leave

at that

when the
first taxis start rolling

to the
lights of Chinatown, powered

by sad and
human desire. I watch her fade

down the
street until she’s a smudge,

violet in
the circle of my breath. A figure

so small I
could cup her in my hands.

Lynda Hull