by Ella Bartlett
Ceiling with wooden beams, your father’s ceramic tea cups
Crawfish etched into the tile behind the stove
their backs curving easy, invisible water, waiting space.
Swimming from the other end of the Atlantic, your body
a crepuscule like the two moons of your hips at the sink
as you peel a mango, your back turned to me
and your feet planted on the cherry-tart linoleum.
Five months ago we dammed the estuary, our lips
closed, we picked the perfect night. We told ourselves
when we stay in Amiens, our fate will carve out time
for us and let us leave handprints on the walls.
The silence is a siren going past, the escalating rain
the stereo that you turn on, my tongue dissolving
the faint sugar of my last smile. Briefly, we dig
our heels into the floorboards, paramour, flitted
with our heads hung like strange flowers, searching
for the warbling sunlight coming through the glass.
Ella Bartlett is an Iowan-born, New-York-educated, and Paris-based writer. This poem was inspired by a moment right before a departure. You can follow her on Twitter @EllaTheRewriter.