I send you:
a photo, no flash to illuminate the
eighteen wheeler “Atlas” diagonally in
front of our careening caravan; my feet
mittened safe and sound into the bohemian
black knitted flats she gave me, which
didn’t fit her ball-to-heel; the sky
a wry, squinting blue. I write beneath:
“Outside of Houston.
These are my real feet.
No one chopped them off.
I love you.”
(i wanted you to know it is you who I
love most throughout the symphonious spring
and calamitous winter, you who i thought of
while dryheaving hyperventilating gasping
in the bathroom with the light unsummoned; you,
the thought of, who filled me with shame
like water amassing in the deep pock of
a redherring footprint when i realized
i’d scratched scraped clawed a soontobe
hideous scab onto my forearm out of desperation
during the attack, lamenting oh crying
to be let out.)
You reply with:
scuffedtohell jeans, tattered as a street
urchin’s vest; and everything is Aladdin
with me, isn’t it? steeltoe boots erupting
from the hems, erect and vehement as lions’
heads, brown and broken in; a picture of
a sheet metal worker, from the calves down.
“Blue skies and feet.
Sounds like a title for a country song.
Back at you.”
(i want to send you the image of a
sculpture, a stonebreasted woman with no hands,
and write underneath:
“I am tired of begging.”
and all I need you to send back is the
shadowcast of our arched front door, ajar;
“I know,” i would have you write. if i
could bring myself to ask.)
Hannah Hamilton is a poor college student studying literature in Baton Rouge, LA, who has a beautiful close-knit family and a lot of things to do before it’s time for her to hop onto Charon’s ferry and hightail it down the River Acheron.