October 8

A stranger bows before her
legs with some declaration
she doesn’t hear. Headphones
plugging her into
the third Rolling

Stones song
in a row. Exactly 23
years since that fire
left her homeless
in New Haven. Exactly two

more months
till 50

becomes her new
home. Will it be
the last
compliment for her
she doesn’t hear?

After the First Year

Let the counting
continue invisible. A voice
so beautiful she’s afraid
to listen for it. If it’s the best
she’ll ever hear,
what then? What key
do ghosts sing in?