“how quickly I lose myself again!” by Elena Botts

how quickly i lose myself again! how quickly and so on and on. as the sky settles on the lake surface
after the burst of wings in the periphery.
and autumn means that all the old smells have come back again
even though the earth and all of us are dying
and i did not think of you then,
i thought of the dining car and how i sat surrounded in a sound probably not meant to be there as strangers ate opposite and i ate nothing.
am i glad of her ghost being so everywhere?
is it so alright in the heart because of the feeling, gold and sunk
in quarry stone i’d think myself an ancient given this profound
eternal peace of i, the center of the isle holds the sky
in a quarry pool. please do not say the name unkindly,
though i know him to be unkind. was it good when the stranger with the loose hair and the drug habit who wasn’t in our tax bracket said she was a taxi though she was not and took us for a ride? rescued us from the outskirts of philadelphia. it was funny how the woman yelled at the kids in the street, get the fuck out of the way, yeah? don’t want you getting run over. idiots. only for you to die in a car crash a little over a year after. less than a few miles from the same spot. you were crossing the road. you were listening to a song. you were on your way to dinner and you were having a thought about what we’ll never know. your body was flung up, into the air. your friend called me in the hotel room afterwards to tell me i was the love of your life. was i? i thought i too had disappeared to enter a new earth. i could not fathom your presence just as i cannot fathom your absence.

Elena Botts grew up in the DC area, lived briefly in Berlin and Johannesburg and currently studies at Bard College. She’s been published in fifty literary magazines over the past few years. She is the winner of four poetry contests, including Word Works Young Poets’. Her poetry has been exhibited at the Greater Reston Art Center and at Arterie Fine Art Gallery. Check out her poetry books, “we’ll beachcomb for their broken bones” (Red Ochre Press, 2014), “a little luminescence” (Allbook-Books, 2011) and “the reason for rain” (Coffeetown Press, 2015). Her visual art has won her several awards. Go to o-mourning-dove.tumblr.com to see her latest artwork.

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