Allison Emily Lee

Allison Emily Lee lives in San Francisco, California. Her work has been published in Transfer and Po’Tree Anthology.  She likes coffee, houseplants and swimming holes. You can visit her online at allisonemilylee.com.

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Daphne

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The woman in black

leans against you on the bus

rearranges her coins in the palm of her hand

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A deep unhappiness,

like the membrane of an egg

lies beneath your ribcage.

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You were alone for so long

you forgot the sound of your own voice.

You called and didn’t say anything.

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You watch the statue, waiting for it to move,

hold out your hand like hers-

fingers like petals, a trick of the light.

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Hot summer of hotel rooms,

thunder storms,

and so many cigarettes your gums bled.

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You took the train from New York City to Maine.

You stopped leaving voicemails.

You couldn’t say when it was enough.

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You reach your thumbs out, to feel the stretch of it;

you feel your thighs harden and your step take root.

You sound like a string plucked, a note vibrating.

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Your arms turn to branches,

and you try to turn your head.

You want to see what has been pursuing you all this time.

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Elephants

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There is a weight to this-

muscles,

blood,

heart,

there is a certain weight.

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I named them all-

over and over that first night.

A mantra- a spiral.

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The weight of hands

touching,

rough fingers on

smooth skin.

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There is weight in the color of silk stockings,

the sandals worn in Morocco,

the ring from Nicaragua, and your mother’s watch.

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There are girls in long skirts,

or girls who cry in cafés.

A soft light;

the lens of memory.

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The elephant in the room:

the time I waited outside your house

and you weren’t even home;

you said you would be home.

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The weight of;

lightness,

of feeling the wind push your hair back,

flinging your hands into the sky,

running down the sand dune,

hollering.

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I named them all-

over and over-

walking away.

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