Cross-Canceling: A Dialogue


I rebuild the walls

On this fault line each time I

Close the door with wind.

                                                I imagine you

                                                Shutting the door while I laugh

                                                At, if not with, you.

Fighting off March wind,

I pull my turquoise scarf tight

Hung with memories.

                                                Recalling our past

                                                Takes away years with violent

                                                Relief and regret.

Falling into work

Daily, to replace your drought

Nightly, your embrace.

                                                Talking all night long

                                                To another woman cuts

                                                The safety cord—now.

Slipping on my shoes,

Walking, running, and dancing,

Now—for the first time.

                                                Looking at my face

                                                In the shaving mirror tells

                                                Tales I’ve hid myself.

Music remembers

When, but I take the song back

(Between our held hands).

                                                All your soaps, lotions,

                                                And barrettes appear in most

                                                Unlikely spaces.

Long before I met

You, in my perfect center,

Absolute storm clouds.

                                                Even the first night,

                                                I located the endpoint,

                                                The start of my life.

Memories are stones

You toss carelessly that sink,

Refract reflections.

                                                The final word you

                                                Never spoke echoes within

                                                My freest moments.


Turning the pages

Of our first photo album

Blindly, I know all.

                                                Turn around again

                                                Remind me to remember

                                                Once all was midnight.

I sigh and empty

My soul like silk night breezes

In a thunderstorm.

                                                Compensating, I

                                                Would spare myself no

                                                Lies, but none remain.

The call of flying

Geese carried my mind in both

Directions alone.

                                                Your forgotten smile

                                                Plays about the horizon

                                                Like translucent clouds.

Turn around and face

Yourself new and a blank day;

Still, I see the moon.

                                                A daylight lunar

                                                Letter returned to sender,

                                                Ever unopened.


Abby Crump

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