Didn’t Even Bite Me

It was an English sheepdog
on the island. I got tangled
in the wire—cut across
the tender part
of the ankle. Left
a scar next to the skin
I would permanently mark
later with a plastic
razor. On the same island.
And those nautical rope
bracelets with ends
fastened by fraying
and burning. I had
one of those too.

Imaginary Isthmus

A citrus hangover on a humid spring
Sunday leaves her certain

she can smell the lilac bushes
on an island she used to know. What if

a bridge of land appeared above
the white caps to graft it to the cape.

She would still take the ferry. Would still hear the almost
in peninsula. She would still believe

in separation
over creation myths. And still want
to build her hotel

for pariahs on the clay
cliffs overlooking that wild
side of the Atlantic.

Decade of Origin

I’m no longer
a Manhattan with rye,
the suit with one sugar cube, or
the skirt

garnished with a cherry. I’m no longer
eligible to mix
it up on the East Coast. But
visits taken black

filled to the brim
still carry me home.