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You stood on the sidewalk, after
seven days gone, your dimples pocketing
sunlight, your eyes disguised as New York
or New Mexico or New Hampshire.
When you stepped forward to clasp my hands,
a pile of New Year’s Eve confetti scattered,
and New York City pelted my skin.

I always carry it in my palms, you said.

You were going to prove to me you were gravity.
You said, Create glass out of a thread for me,
wrap it around your body and transform
into aluminum. But you wanted to make me
new. You left the room, then came back
with the clocks from my walls, and hung them
upside down in the bathroom closet.
You can’t hide time, you said. Even
if you stand on your head.

You reached into your pocket,
handed me a Polaroid of a painting on your wall;
me, dressed in blue stockings
surrounded by sunflowers and cacti.

You are jazz, you said, you are hips
swaying, you are microphone testing,
a check 1 or 2 or 3, a blue-jean runway model
for Ralph Lauren.

I almost believed you. The sunlight spilled
out of your dimples onto the tile floor.
Wrinkles plowed through your forehead.

Where are the orange peels? The confetti?

New York City, pulse through my arms,
pulse from your hands, again, again,
pulse for me so I can see it.

Instead – downtown museum exhibits
where New Mexico used to linger
in your pores. You leaned your face
into my stomach molding into yesterday,
the clocks in the closet clicking
like the fury of high heels on tile.


Mary Stone’s poetry and prose has appeared or is forthcoming in A Clean Well-Lighted Place, Notes Magazine, Mochila, Coal City Review, Amoskeag, Lingerpost, FutureCycle Poetry, Flint Hills Review, North Central Review, Spring Formal, Canvas and other fine journals. In 2011 she received the Langston Hughes Creative Writing Award in Poetry. Currently, she is an MFA student at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, where she teaches English classes and co-edits the Blue Island Review.

© 2011, Mary Stone

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