PoetryIssue 22 | April 2015

Another Art

by Susanna Rich

For Elizabeth Bishop

Misplacing is easy. My Canon PowerShot
flash card jammed with Budapest

lovers on metro escalators,
winged statues of naked women.

Found it ravelled in the tape measure
I brought to tabulate how my waist

takes on poppyseed palacsintas,
Bull’s Blood, eggy bird’s milk.

Keys, of course, shoes, the other sock. 
Then my GOWalking pedometer,

a 1½” X 2½” gray thingie I clamped
onto the tongue of my Nike’s,

a tiny pendulum to score how far I traipse—
177 steps up to Fisherman’s Bastion;

synagogue to basilica; museum, museum,
museum to terminal market.

Panicky—to lose that small trochaic
kathumping on my foot—

magic rattle assuring me:
you will stay invisible enough

to be loved. I retraced my steps,
eyes low to the wash of butts in gutters—

back over the Chain Bridge
to the stone lions with no tongues;

back through the cavernous Gellért spa,
with its frightening echoes

and limping white robes. 
Looking hurt into people’s faces.

It was too trivial to matter until it did,
mass-produced in a China I’ll never know,

five-buck WalMart impulse—
eminently replaceable through the web.

It might as well have been
the hand of the child I never had,

my sister not-speaking to me,
my father never returning—

all those things-I’ll-never-know glitches
around which I mold myself

like a storm around its eye.
The young waitress at the Coyote Pub—

For when you’re hungry as a wolf
called out to me as I passed by:

“You left something.  Here.”
The gray thing—heartbeats, feet,

bridges, time itself—reprieve.
Momentary joy.

Now what to do, who to be
without the freedom of the lost?

About the author

Susanna Rich has published two poetry collections, Television Daddy and The Drive Home. She’s also a Fulbright Scholar, a creative non-fiction writer, and an Emmy Award nominee. As Professor of English and Distinguished Teacher at Kean University in New Jersey, she performs “Shakespeare’s *itches: The Women Talk Back,” a one-woman audience-interactive musical.

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