Poetry at Sangam




I go it alone: snow, shaken from my coat
in the over-warm auditorium,

scent of melted butter. My parched throat,
cold-hot, and windowless air shot with light.

He didn’t come. Siamese seat, draped
with purse and coat: hand in hand, hollow gloves

rest on what would have been his thigh.
This could be a dream: unreal colors flick

before my eyes in recurring themes.
The ghost of myself forgets the layer

between me and the picture, so I rise
and enter, mouthing with Scarlett the words

After all, tomorrow is another day
my lipstick not quite as perfect, red

sun setting in her world, track lights brightening
in mine. There are coats to be gathered,

cell phones, keys, wallets: an amnesiac’s
list of clues. Names of the dead scroll on screen

and someone knocks down a bottle of Coke.
It rolls down the slope, crashing into row

upon row of anchored metal – the chairs
that held us like mothers. I eclipse

my backlit shadow near an exit, crossing
from dim to fluorescent. And the world begins.

(Originally appeared in Cider Press Review)