Mark Seidl

Polaroid

That it's as much of the sky

     as you, in your get-up

          of wrong-side Civil War


cap and cowboy boots,

     how the sky, the blue

          live air, shapes itself


around you and you shape it

     to yourself, the way river

          and bank collude to inflect—


that's how, when this come out

     of the box of things you keep

          because you love the ones


who gave them, you will know

     that to hold one day apart

          from all the rest, to remind


you of a place you were,

     wasn't the point, but that I,

          for a moment, was looking.


But Ohio

Just saying it lets you down,

that first O a delicious round


of surprise like the mouth

of a girl whose arm you brush


against in the hall between

Spanish and algebra, whose


perfume you inhale through

the conjugations, and who turns


with a hi bright as a cigarette's

burning tip behind the bleachers, 


as if you are the one whose

touch she wants against her


lambswool sleeve, and then

that final falling o, her lips 


curling to a pout as she sees

it's you, all neck and bedhead,


bent into your slouch

like a pipe-cleaner unglued


from its art-class trial.


Mark Seidl lives in New York's Hudson Valley, where he works as a rare books librarian—the best job in the world! His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Two Hawks Quarterly, Belle Ombre, and Hotel Amerika.

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