Author: Rosenfeld, Austen Leah
Date published: January 1, 2012
Scraps of paper stapled to telephone poles
shiver in the wind, informative fish scales:
lost cat, yoga class, someone looking for a bass player.
People's wants and needs right there
for anyone to read, everyone to read,
like Latin engravings, like open-heart surgery.
I never felt the street belonged to me.
I was just visiting. Have you ever walked
through a museum without looking at a thing?
An old boyfriend calls, he thinks we're just the same;
it pins my stomach to my spine,
like a butterfly on exhibit.
It helps to say these things out loud:
state your condition, instant by instant,
like the New York Stock Exchange.
The strings that hold my vertebrae together
are loosening. Eventually
your secrets become yours to throw away.
Or if you keep them, like crumpled receipts,
they fossilize to amber:
you could make them into earrings.
AUSTEN LEAH ROSENFELD received her BA from Stanford University and is currently pursuing her MFA at Columbia. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Gulf Coast and AGNI. She is originally from Los Angeles.