“Letter XXI” by Neil Aitken
Northbound at dusk, I imagine you
in a neighboring city, someplace not far
from here, with not much between us.
Road. Window. Farmland. A settlement
or two. Perhaps even cows. Or a ghost town
made of cardboard and steel, narrow spaces
which I pass through like indecisive light,
uncertain of what I intend to be until it's too late.
It's always too late, by the time I realize
I know nothing about you. Know nothing
about sound. The way your body creaks
when you sigh, how you lift your arms above
your head, the invisible moon in your left fist,
in your right, a glass filled with fire.
Neil Aitken is the author of Babbage’s Dream (Sundress, 2017) and The Lost Country of Sight (Anhinga, 2008), which received the Philip Levine Prize, as well as the poetry chapbook, Leviathan. His work has been published in American Literary Review, Crab Orchard Review, The Dialogist, Ninth Letter, The Normal School, The Southern Poetry Review, and many other journals. A proud Kundiman fellow, he is the founding editor of Boxcar Poetry Review, curator of Have Book Will Travel, and co-director of De-Canon: A Visibility Project. Visit him at www.neil-aitken.com .
Photo Credit: Staff