Poem by Rachel Eliza Griffiths
Photo by Kees Terberg

Self, Distance

In my mind I’ll go five miles with you. No more.
Headlight from a woman’s limbs.

Really, it is brief illumination. A sort of bird
song & bird shadow. The root

of a cage becoming a cage.
A jolt & blot of stained steel
& running boards.

What meter could dissolve
the glare of impossible love?

The past was not a mirror on either door.

I could reflect the mountains
shrinking to hills, then youth.

Pain is a quill tipped with speaking.

Inside of the car a radio plays
& something nearly musical

runs ahead of the body
like a train against the lid
of clouds.

What is that heap on the shoulder of the road?
The finger & lip look rather homeless.

A nomad’s sign swings its population
of dust between broken lines. The crows of
wire scallop a white sky.

Memory is a burnt child
I carry on my back.  

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