Like a barn door wide open: there was your O. Everything else was burned away, no hair, giant puckers inward like a flattened rubber flower. In front of the train station I passed with everyone else. What was worse, looking or not looking?
Your black O gave stale birth all day beside the train station. You kept pointing and insisting. You were emphatic, gesturing to a velvet basket of coins, offerings with which you’d feed yourself.
Like shuttles we passed, weaving in and out, making a throw of impassion, leaving compassion out of it. It’s too late for that, as you know, you who are so far beyond survival.
is the author of Flucht, a book-length collection of poems published by New Rivers Press. A graduate of the University of Minnesota Creative Writing Program, she has received grants and awards from The Jerome Foundation, AWP, and The Minnesota State Arts Board. She is currently writing poems about working as a rideshare driver in Duluth, Minnesota. More information on this project is available at www.michellematthees.com.