by Alyssa Jewell
The rice fields glint back toward the cold
so full and heavy
along the Sacramento highway that an unbroken figure shines out:
concentric circles overlapping in the frost.
I have lived too much of this life
with one foot in another world.
I don’t recognize my hands on the steering wheel
where the sunrises in my fingernails
fade from my line of vision. Today my voice belongs
to no one
and this frightens me,
even as my friend in Michigan
calls to say
it’s happening again: her cupboard doors swung open wide as if a hurricane
barreled through her breezeway—
kitchen chairs scattered about the
linoleum floor, the morning
newspaper unfolded on its own.
When she comes home, this quiet chaos,
a reliable haunting, hollows her out in the loneliest hours.
No one believes it
she says, and all our afternoons in our own
have grown so very cold.
I light a match down by the boiler blown out
and consider how no one wants to keep company with a spirit holding
to all that will not last.