Daphne

The woman in black
leans against you on the bus
rearranges her coins in the palm of her hand

A deep unhappiness,
like the membrane of an egg
lies beneath your ribcage.

You were alone for so long
you forgot the sound of your own voice.
You called and didn’t say anything.

You watch the statue, waiting for it to move,
hold out your hand like hers-
fingers like petals, a trick of the light.

Hot summer of hotel rooms,
thunder storms,
and so many cigarettes your gums bled.

You took the train from New York City to Maine.
You stopped leaving voicemails.
You couldn’t say when it was enough.

You reach your thumbs out, to feel the stretch of it;
you feel your thighs harden and your step take root.
You sound like a string plucked, a note vibrating.

Your arms turn to branches,
and you try to turn your head.
You want to see what has been pursuing you all this time.

Originally published in Public Pool 8/25/16