It was raining just a minute ago. As
it started I thought wet link fence, thought
toward you gone again. I don’t know you,
morning smoke in bare legs and coat with me
taking the opposite roadside saying
walk cold heels and dropping pastry flake on the brick.
Or you, who lettered the sign driving south, told us
WE HAVE JACKETS but also PRAY. Your shoulder, which
was hard leaning on the bus window, which was blurred
warmer, lace-dropped water with all of that
breath. I wanted a person to take my
picture, wanted you, old egg, good soul.
Every train is built of continuous arrival; someone
is always getting home. I sit there daily,
a tuck in my chest, the sky tender between
Carvel and the taco shop, the rooftop graffiti
under my seat saying twice daily I love you Anne Birdie.
I have pictured her,
everything she says a bath of both other and home,
sitting on porches and having something to do with the weather,
mixed smoke and copper stains banding her fingers.
I have only lived here a little and every day I am already leaving,
sifting deli receipts and replaying conversations one neighbor
had with another through their kitchen windows, lemon zest
and yeasted air carried to me standing loosehanded
on the sidewalk. My mother had five daughters, one said.
Emma Aylor is the author of Twos (Dancing Girl Press, 2014) and an MFA candidate in poetry at the University of Washington. Her poems have appeared in Handsome, the Adirondack Review, Two Serious Ladies, Vinyl, and elsewhere.