We stood, two I’s, two towers of a bridge,
suspension cables pulled tightly—
packed boxes holding everything I owned
My downstairs neighbor, a silver-haired
Latina woman, all hand gestures & broken
English tumbling off her lips asked us
if we were getting married.
Her crease-cradled eyes caught you
through her kitchen window climbing
the three floors up our building’s fire escape
to my attic apartment every day for a year
while she was preparing the dinner
that we would later smell filtering
through the floorboards.
Both of us chuffed no
as you leaned over to light my cigarette
while we waited for the U-Haul.
How many times was I lit on fire
because I mistook your kindness
Our laughter for love?
Like the day we got stoned as fuck
& I threw the french doors & all
of the windows in my living room open
in the heart of winter, said, let’s pretend
we’re stranded in a tundra, handed you
a hat & a pair of mittens while our teeth
chattered camaraderie in morse code
through our hysterics.
The deck between us was never
compromised by the weight of
what I thought I felt for you or
by the tokens you paid to cross
Carrying boxes down the stairs
of the porch, loading them one
by one, like the memories we made
over the length of three years. Suspension
cables snapping all around us. This
will be one of the last times I see you.
That day sits in my heart like a souvenir,
a tiny snow globe that I shake sometimes
for a smile. Almost always having to
clear away the thick layer of dust
it gathered while sitting on the shelf.
A blizzard of memories swirling around
two I’s that never could bend long enough
to form the “e” in we.
- Amanda Oaks
My poem for this week’s Words Dance Writing Prompt!
Write a poem using this prompt, then link your poem up in the link list at the bottom of the post on our blog:
Choose a poem you like. I used “Fire” by Joy Harjo from her bookWhat Moon Drove Me to This? Cross out every other line (it doesn’t matter whether you start with the first or second line) and write lines of your own to fit with the remaining original lines. Then, cross out the remaining lines of the original poem and write more lines of your own to go with those you already wrote so that what you end up with is a poem that’s wholly yours.