PoetryIssue 14 | February 2012

After Your Funeral I Set Out to Find You in Different Time Zones

by Jennifer Faylor

I am dark with foreign numbers, the confusion
of cartoon-currency, the strange way
these new people move their mouths.
Too much spit whistling past their teeth
as they say your name: Alice?
And then shake their heads, no.

I know that you are not vacationing, sunburnt
on a beach somewhere, or backpacking
through dirty hostels, but it can’t hurt to ask.

I’ve become a collector of kindling. Things
that easily burn—doll hair, love letters,
the death certificate that was folded
and unfolded a hundred times. As I travel
around the world, asking shopkeepers
and tour guides if they’ve seen you,
I wish your name was flammable too.
That it could burst out of my mouth
and not come back. That it could
turn itself into unrecognizable ash.
That I could smear that gritty powder
across my skin and wear a coat of it.

How can I translate this into something
you can understand? The only language
we share now is light. So I will write you
a letter. Translate it into Morse code,
flash my bedroom lamp out the window
accordingly. At the end of the letter I’ll sign
my name. I’ll leave the light on.
I’ll let the bulb burn out.

About the author

Jennifer Faylor is a poet living in New York City with her pet goldfish Edison. She has her MFA in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College and is the poetry editor of Opium Magazine. She’s been published in such places as Bat City Review, Elimae and Redivider.

Read our current issue:

Poetry

Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok